Inside North America - The Fish and Seafood Trade

May 2013

International Markets Bureau
Market Indicator Report



Inside This Issue




Executive Summary

The United States (U.S.) dominates the fish and seafood market in North America. In 2011, the total volume of fish and seafood consumed in North America was 2.24 million tonnes. Of this, 69% (1.54 million tonnes) was consumed in the U.S., compared to 31% (698.9 thousand tonnes) consumed in Canada. Consumer expenditure on fish and seafood in North America, in 2011, was US$16.98 billion in current prices. The U.S. share was US$13.4 billion, while Canada's consumers spent US$3.58 billion.

While this report provides data pertaining to both fresh and processed fish and seafood, it is worth noting that the retail market for processed products in particular is segmented into three categories:

  • Shelf stable: This comprises all canned fish, seafood and seaweed and includes meal centres and ready meals.
  • Frozen: This comprises all frozen fish, seafood and seaweed and includes meal centres and ready meals.
  • Chilled: This includes all packaged fish, seafood and seaweed which has been further processed in some way. It includes smoked and salted fish but not plain filleted or portioned products. 

The fish and seafood industry is forecast to grow by a total of 7.2% from 2011-2016, according to Euromonitor


Market Size

Market Size, Fish and Seafood in Canada and the U.S., Historic/Forecast
- Fishand Seafood - Total Volume - '000 tonnes
Geography 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Euromonitor, 2012
North America 2,285.4 2,249.8 2,236.8 2,258.4 2,293.2 2,325.4 2,357.6 2,377.5
U.S. 1,601.2 1,557.7 1,537.9 1,554.0 1,584.1 1,609.3 1,634.8 1,648.3
Canada 684.2 692.1 698.9 704.4 709.1 716.1 722.9 729.2

Market Size, Fish and Seafood in Canada and the U.S., Historic/Forecast
- ConsumerExpenditure on Fish and Seafood - US$ Millions - Current Prices - Year-on-YearExchange Rates
Geography 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Euromonitor, 2012
North America 15,148.2 15,938.9 16,976.8 17,576.1 18,341.2 19,029.3 19,755.8 20,618.0
U.S. 12,315.9 12,655.0 13,398.7 13,928.8 14,485.3 15,030.2 15,614.3 16,335.1
Canada 2,832.3 3,283.9 3,578.1 3,647.4 3,855.9 3,999.1 4,141.4 4,282.9

Market Size, Fish and Seafood in Canada and the U.S., Historic/Forecast
- Index of Fish and Seafood Prices - 1995 = 100
Geography 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Euromonitor, 2012
U.S. 137.0 138.5 148.3 154.8 - - - -
Canada 121.6 122.1 126.9 131.5 - - - -

Market Size, Fish and Seafood in Canada and the U.S., Historic/Forecast
- Exports of Fish and Seafood Products - US$ Millions
Geography 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Euromonitor, 2012
U.S. 4,004.5 4,471.8 5,581.4 5,747.3 - - - -
Canada 3,220.2 3,814.8 4,147.6 4,192.1 - - - -

Market Size, Fish and Seafood in Canada and the U.S., Historic/Forecast
- Imports (includes cost of insurance and freight [cif]) of Fish and Seafood Products - US$ Millions
Geography 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Euromonitor, 2012
U.S. 13,374.5 14,923.0 16,888.9 17,425.7 - - - -
Canada 1,904.8 2,099.1 2,466.1 2,549.8 - - - -
  • The U.S. dominates the fish and seafood market in North America.
  • In 2011, the total volume of fish and seafood consumed in North America was 2.24 million tonnes. Of this, 69% (1.54 million tonnes) was consumed in the U.S., compared to 31% (698,900 tonnes) consumed in Canada.
  • Consumer expenditure on fish and seafood in North America, in 2011, was US$16.98 billion in current prices. The U.S. share was US$13.4 billion, while Canada's consumers spent US$3.58 billion.
  • The fish and seafood industry is forecast to grow by a total of 7.2% from 2011 to 2016.

Fish and Seafood SalesFootnote 1

Sales of Fish and Seafood in the U.S. by Type, Volume in Thousands of Tonnes
Type 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Source: Euromonitor International, 2013
Crustaceans  541.6 518.6 530.1 535.9 505.7 490.1
Fish  879.7 902.0 851.6 824.0 822.3 823.0
Mollusks and cephalopods  243.3 233.0 238.2 241.3 229.7 224.9
Total fish and seafood 1,664.6 1,653.6 1,619.8 1,601.2 1,557.7 1,537.9

Forecast Sales of Fish and Seafood in the U.S. by Type, Volume in Thousands of Tonnes
Type 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source: Euromonitor International, 2013
Crustaceans  496.4 506.8 518.5 524.7 528.9
Fish  834.5 851.2 861.4 876.1 883.1
Mollusks and cephalopods  223.1 226.0 229.4 234.0 236.3
Total fish and seafood 1,554.0 1,584.1 1,609.3 1,634.8 1,648.3

Historic/Forecast Sales of Fish and Seafood in the U.S. by Type, % Volume Growth 2006-2011
Type 2010-11 2006-11 CAGR 2006-11 Total 2015-16 2011-16 CAGR 2011-16 Total
Source: Euromonitor International, 2013
Note: CAGR = Compound annual growth rate
Crustaceans  -3.1 -2.0 -9.5 0.8 1.5 7.9
Fish  0.1 -1.3 -6.4 0.8 1.4 7.3
Mollusks and cephalopods  -2.1 -1.6 -7.6 1.0 1.0 5.1
Total fish and seafood -1.3 -1.6 -7.6 0.8 1.4 7.2

Sales of Fish and Seafood in the U.S. by Distribution Format, % Total Volume
Distribution Format 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Source: Euromonitor International, 2013
Retail 55.0 55.0 54.8 55.0 55.2 55.0
Others (including foodservice and institutional)  45.0 45.0 45.2 45.0 44.8 45.0
Total  100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Retail Segmentation - Processed Products

In this section, the categories are defined as follows:

  • Total: Includes packaged, processed fish, seafood and seaweed and products containing mostly fish. Market size comprises sales through all retail channels, including direct-to-consumer.
  • Shelf Stable: This comprises all canned fish, seafood and seaweed and includes meal centres and ready meals.
  • Frozen: This comprises all frozen fish, seafood and seaweed and includes meal centres and ready meals.
  • Chilled: This includes all packaged fish, seafood and seaweed which has been further processed in some way. It includes smoked and salted fish, but not plain filleted or portioned products.
Canada, Processed Fish, Retail Market Segmentation in 2011*
Segment Volume ('000 tonnes) Value (C$ millions)
*Note: Only 2011 data was available for Canada at time of writing.
Source: Mintel, 2013
Total 77.27 1,064.4
Shelf stable 39.92 532.3
Frozen 21.10 266.3
Chilled 16.25 265.9

United States, Processed Fish, Retail Market Segmentation by Volume in '000 of Tonnes
Segment 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Source: Mintel, 2013
Total 727.0 724.3 701.7 665.0 701.7 691.5
Frozen 414.0 413.7 415.3 402.2 422.8 415.9
Shelf stable 276.5 271.6 250.5 228.8 242.2 238.7
Chilled 36.5 39.0 35.9 34.0 36.7 36.9

United States, Processed Fish, Retail Market Segmentation by Value in US$ Millions
Segment 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Source: Mintel, 2013
Total 7,172  7,354  7,557  7,589  7,856  8,031 
Frozen 4,775  4,847  5,054  4,981  5,187  5,353 
Shelf stable 1,838  1,897  1,909  2,017  2,044  2,031 
Chilled 559  610  594  591  625  647 

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTS

  • There were 57 new product introductions in Canada and the U.S. between January 2007 and December 2012. The U.S. introduced 45 new products, compared to Canada's 12.
  • A majority of these products claim to have functional qualities such as being good for cardiovascular health (43). The second most popular claim was kosher-certified (30). Manufacturers also claim to follow ethical standards in the treatment of animals, as a result "dolphin-safe" logos appear on some products.
  • The majority of products were launched as new variety/range extension (19) or new products (19) during this timeframe.
  • Positioning claims attributed to new varieties/range extensions and new products include, but are not limited to, functional qualities, naturalness, ethical standards and kosher-certified. Flexible packaging is also frequently featured among new products.
  • As part of the effort to innovate in the fish and seafood industry, a company in the U.S. called Open Ocean Trading, which is based in Massachusetts, is "offering fishermen and commercial seafood buyers throughout New England an innovative, efficient sales/purchasing platform that enhances business stability, transparency, sustainability, and profitability in the volatile seafood industry." (Business Wire [English], 8 September 2012). The new online purchasing platform enables fishermen and buyers to know in advance how much money they can get or pay for fish, respectively. Prices can be locked in for days to months in advance of the actual sale, thus minimizing uncertainty in the industry.
New Products Launched, January 2007 to December 2012
Launch Type Number of Products
Source Mintel, 2013
New variety/range extension 19
New product 19
New packaging 17
New formulation 2
Total products 57

Top Five Claims of New Fish and Seafood Product Introductions to the North American Market, January 2007 to December 2012
Claim Number of Products
Source Mintel, 2013
1. Cardiovascular (functional) 43
2. Kosher 30
3. Ethical - animal 23
4. Premium 19
5. Ethical - environmentally friendly product 15
Other 46

Top Five Package Types for New Fish and Seafood Product Introductions to the North American Market, January 2007 to December 2012
Package Type Number of Products
Source Mintel, 2013
1. Flexible sachet 16
2. Can 14
3. Flexible 9
4. Flexible stand-up pouch 5
5. Not specified 5
Other 8
Total products 57

Top Five Pack Sizes of New Fish and Seafood Product Introductions to the North American Market, January 2007 to December 2012
Pack Size Number of Products
Source Mintel, 2013
1. 85.05 g 8
2. 141.75 g 5
3. 113.40 g 5
4. 907.20 g 4
5. 500.00 g 4
Other 31
Total products 57

New Product Examples, 2007-2012

The following are some examples of fish and seafood introductions to the North American marketplace, from the Mintel Global New Product Database. The products were obtained by limiting the Mintel search criteria to the period between January 2007 to December 2012.

StarKist Tuna Creations Sweet & Spicy Tuna

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Flexible sachet
  • Claim: Cardiovascular (functional), ethical - animal, premium, slimming
  • Launch type: New packaging
  • Pack size: 74 g
  • Country: U.S.
  • This product has been repackaged in a single serve 74 g pack featuring the Dolphin Safe logo. The product contains 90 calories per pouch. The manufacturer claims that diets that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. It retails for US$1.50.

Blue Circle Smoked Salmon

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Flexible sachet
  • Claim: Antioxidant, ease of use, ethical - environmentally friendly product, hormone free, kosher, premium
  • Launch type: New product
  • Pack size: 113 g
  • Country: U.S.
  • This smoked salmon is a premium centre fillet, already sliced and ready to eat. It is rich in omega-3, antioxidants, contains no antibiotics or hormones and is farm raised. The kosher-certified product retails in a 113 g pack for US$6.99.

Changing Seas Norwegian Smoked Salmon

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Tray
  • Claim: Antioxidant, ethical - environmentally friendly product, hormone free, kosher, premium
  • Launch type: New packaging
  • Pack size: 227 g
  • Country: U.S.
  • Norwegian Smoked Salmon is now available in a newly sized, easy peel 227 g pack. The kosher-certified product is rich in antioxidants and omega-3. The premium salmon is raised in low-density and deep water pens without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. It retails for US$10.99.

High Liner Pan-Sear Selects Lime Chili Tilapia Fillets

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Flexible
  • Claim: Cardiovascular (functional), low/no/reduced saturated fat, low/no/reduced trans fat, premium
  • Launch type: New packaging
  • Pack size: 540 g
  • Country: Canada
  • This product is a source of omega-3 polyunsaturates that contains no hydrogenated oils or trans fats and is low in saturated fat. This premium product retails for C$12.49 in a 540 g pack containing four lightly breaded whole fillets. It is also available in a Savoury Herb Cod variety.

Chicken Of The Sea No Drain Solid White Albacore Tuna

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Can
  • Claim: Cardiovascular (functional), ethical - animal, high protein, kosher, ethical - environmentally friendly package,
  • Launch type: New product
  • Pack size: 113 g
  • Country: U.S.
  • This kosher, wild caught, dolphin-safe tuna is naturally high in protein and provides heart-healthy omega-3. It is retailed in a 100% recyclable can with a pop-top opening. It retails for US$2.39.

Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Spring Water

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Can
  • Claim: All natural product, antioxidant, ethical - animal, immune system (functional), kosher ethical - environmentally friendly product
  • Launch type: New variety/range extension
  • Pack size: 124 g
  • Country: U.S.
  • The kosher-certified and all-natural product is described as an excellent source of omega-3 and provides three times more calcium and phosphorous than milk, more iron than cooked spinach, as much protein as steak, and as much potassium as bananas. It retails for US$2.69.

Tuny Light Low Fat Tuna in Water

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Can
  • Claim: Convenient packaging, Low/no/reduced fat, no additives/preservatives, slimming
  • Launch type: New product
  • Pack size: 142 g
  • Country: U.S.
  • This product claims to be a natural source of omega-3 and to contain no preservatives. The product retails in a 142 g pack, featuring an easy-to-open, pull-tab lid, for US$0.77.

Clover Leaf Gourmet Flaked White Tuna with Sundried Tomato In Olive Oil

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Can
  • Claim: Cardiovascular (functional), ethical - animal, kosher
  • Launch type: New variety/range extension
  • Pack size: 142 g
  • Country: Canada
  • This product contains 0.2 g omega-3 per serving. This dolphin-friendly product is kosher-certified and retails in a 142 g pack for C$1.99 Also available in the range are chipotle and jalapeño varieties.

High Liner Captain's Catch Beer Battered Hand Cut Fish Fillets

  • Sub-category: Fish products
  • Package type: Carton
  • Claim: Brain & nervous system (functional), Low/no/reduced saturated fat, Low/no/reduced transfat, other (functional)
  • Launch type: New packaging
  • Pack size: 500 g
  • Country: Canada
  • These fillets are now available with new packaging. The product is a good source of omega-3 polyunsaturates, is low in saturated fat and free from trans fat and added hydrogenated oils. It contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid which is claimed to support the normal development of the brain, eyes and nerves. The product retails in a 500 g-package containing six or more fish fillets for C$6.59.

Sources

  • Business Wire (English), 8 September 2012.
  • Euromonitor International Database, 2013.
  • Fish & Seafood Markets Industry (NAICS 44522). United States Fish & Seafood Markets Industry Report [serial online]. January 2013.1-112. Available from: Business Source Corporate Plus, Ipswich, Massachusetts. Accessed February 13, 2013.
  • Mintel Global New Product Database, 2013.


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