US fresh salmon sales down, but ready-to-cook kits could help fill void

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American consumers bought roughly 9 percent fewer units of fresh salmon in the four weeks ending May 15, but US food industry experts suggest that presenting consumers with product that resonates with them during this time of inflation could help fill the void.

Experts at FMI, the trade group representing food retailers and their supply chain partners, said three major trends are driving consumers to part with their hard-earned dollars today: Convenience; Better for You; and Indulgence & Taste.

This is where ready-to-cook salmon meal kits come in – a category that Rabobank said could help the industry boost retail sales this year.

These so-called convenience options provide “solutions” for consumers, said the FMI experts, noting that amidst rising prices across food retail, consumers are buying less per trip and discretionary purchases are likely to soften if not aligned with their needs.

“Price-sensitivity is back in a big way, so consumers are thinking about the price and how much money they have in their wallet. When you see costs of transportation and housing and food go up, consumers don’t have a lot of places to save so they’ve got to make really good decisions. If you’re solving for the consumers problem, they’re going to spend money with you. And so, whether you’re solving it from a convenience standpoint, from a health and well-being standpoint or maybe even Indulgence standpoint – when you start thinking of those macro trends and how you’re helping that consumer solve that, I think that’s where there’s an opportunity,” said Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice-president at FMI.

Often, ready-to-cook meals end up cheaper for the consumer than preparing them from scratch, the group noted.

Some takeaways

Price-sensitivity is back in a big way, so consumers are thinking about the price and how much money they have in their wallet, says FMI exec

For salmon producers that are boosting their value-added offerings in order to tap into market opportunities, here’s something to think about, according to FMI:

Do you have the right sizes, varieties and total package cost for all occasions for consumers to keep your product in their basket?

What occasions and solutions does your product serve – what, aside from price, does your product offer that makes it stand out?

The biggest spenders in the Western countries now are Millennials, numbering over 72 million in the US, and currently aged 20 to 40. Eight out of 10 adults now use social media, so experts advise going beyond the traditional promotional venues such as circulars, and embracing digital and social media where shoppers are most likely to see or buy product.