Feb 3 - ANALYSIS: China’s Appetite for Imported Shrimp Confirmed
Feb 3 - ANALYSIS: Pangasius Market Reporting Oversupply Ahead of Seafood Holidays
Feb 1 - The Retail Rundown: Comparing Urner Barry's Protein Indices
Jan 25 - The Retail Rundown: How Do Plant-Based Meat Sales Fare at Retail?
Jan 19 - The Retail Rundown: Seafood Feature Volume Increases
Jan 13 - The Retail Rundown: Beef Dominates Total Sales; CPI Data Released
Jan 5 - The Retail Rundown: Exploring COMTELL’s Revamped Retail Section
Dec 29 - This Week in Retail: Meat and Poultry Highlights of 2022
Dec 22 - This Week in Retail: Sleigh-ing the Competition with Holiday Deals
Dec 8 - This Week in Retail: The Christmas Countdown
Dec 1 - This Week in Retail: Grocers Deck the Halls With December Deals
Nov 17 - This Week in Retail: Good Gravy… The 2022 Thanksgiving Rundown
Nov 10 - This Week in Retail: Busy Shoppers Seek Convenience; Inflation Eased in October
Nov 3 - This Week in Retail: Grocers Focus on Holiday Demand in November
Oct 27 - This Week in Retail: Turkey is the Talk of the Town
Oct 13 - This Week in Retail: Egg Features Lag; CPI Data Outpaces Expectations
Oct 6 - ANALYSIS: August Shrimp Imports Decline Accelerates
Oct 6 - This Week in Retail: Varying Supplies, Weather Influence Retail Activity
Sep 26 - ANALYSIS: Canadian Snow Crab Prices Begin Rebound
Sep 22 - This Week in Retail: Seasonal Trends Start to Shift
Sep 15 - This Week in Retail: Protein Indices Are Above 3-Year Average; CPI Data Released
Sep 8 - This Week in Retail: Seasonal Transition for the Meat Case
Sep 2 - ANALYSIS: Blue Swimming Crab Meat Dips Below 2017 Levels
Aug 25 - This Week in Retail: Gearing Up for the Last Major Retail Event of Summer
Aug 22 - ANALYSIS: Crab Meat Headed Into Norfolk Up 54 Percent
Aug 18 - This Week in Retail: Beef Features Increase Ahead of Labor Day
Aug 11 - ANALYSIS: Canada Lobster Tail, Meat Exports to U.S. Fall Short in June
Aug 11 - This Week in Retail: Reviewing the Chicken Complex; CPI Update
Aug 8 - ANALYSIS: Blue Swimming Crab Meat Continues Decline Into August
Aug 5 - ANALYSIS: June Shrimp Imports Edge Higher
Aug 4 - This Week in Retail: Sizing Up August, Back to School Needs
Jul 29 - ANALYSIS: Pangasius Imports Break Records as Prices Plummet
Jul 28 - This Week in Retail: Wrapping Up July; Digesting the Latest GDP Data
Jul 25 - ANALYSIS: Farmed Salmon Index Dips Below 2021
Jul 22 - ANALYSIS: Wild Salmon Week in Review July 16-22
Jul 21 - This Week in Retail: Extreme Heat and its Impact on Protein Demand
Jul 18 - ANALYSIS: 5-8s at 5-Year Low; Buying Opps Up For Snow Crab
Jul 14 - This Week in Retail: Consumer Spending in Question as Inflation Heats Up
Jul 11 - ANALYSIS: Red Swimming Crab Meat Market Steadily Moving Lower
Jul 8 - ANALYSIS: May Shrimp Imports Decline for the First Time Since September 2021
Jul 7 - This Week in Retail: Travel Season and Foodservice Demand
Jul 5 - ANALYSIS: Snow Crab Season Begins to Wrap Up Around Canada
Jun 30 - This Week in Retail: This Year's July Fourth Cookout Could be Costlier
Jun 27 - ANALYSIS: Farmed Salmon Update Heading Into July
Jun 23 - This Week in Retail: Supermarkets Prep for July 4th
Jun 21 - ANALYSIS: Tilapia and Pangasius Under Downwards Pressure
Jun 16 - This Week in Retail: Seafood and Beef Lead Father's Day Ads
Jun 9 - This Week in Retail: Competing Proteins for Father’s Day
Jun 8 - ANALYSIS: April Shrimp Imports March Higher Driven by Most Top Trade Partners
Jun 3 - ANALYSIS: Scallop Supply Shows Improvement; Select Sizes, Origins Adjust
Jun 2 - This Week in Retail: Prepping for the Next Major Summer Grilling Occasion
May 31 - ANALYSIS: Blue Swimming Crab Meat Market Adjusts Lower
May 19 - This Week in Retail: Beef Ads Lag Leading Up to Memorial Day
May 13 - ANALYSIS: Q1 Pangasius Volume Outweighs Tilapia Second Year in a Row as Record Prices Retreat
May 6 - ANALYSIS: March Shrimp Imports Continue Record Surge
May 5 - This Week in Retail: Protein Features Spring to Life in May
Apr 28 - This Week in Retail: Roast Features Make Room for Grilling Ads
Apr 21 - This Week in Retail: The Lull Before Grilling Season
Apr 14 - This Week in Retail: A Look at Easter Features; CPI Data Released
Apr 6 - ANALYSIS: February Shrimp Imports Continue to Surge
Apr 4 - ANALYSIS: 2022 Scallop Season Expectations
Mar 31 - This Week in Retail: Looking Towards April
Mar 28 - ANALYSIS: Conflicting Trends on Imported Catfish
Mar 28 - ANALYSIS: Is Ecuador Returning to China as Shrimp Prices Stagnant to Start 2022 in U.S.?
Mar 24 - This Week in Retail: Steak Features See Boost from Warmer Weather; Eyeing HPAI
Mar 21 - ANALYSIS: Sanctions and Tariffs Shift Focus to Icelandic Cod
Mar 21 - ANALYSIS: A Look At The Current Snow Crab Market And Spring Supply Outlook
Mar 17 - This Week in Retail: Showcasing Brisket Features for St. Patrick’s Day
Mar 14 - ANALYSIS: January Shrimp Imports Show More of the Same
Mar 11 - ANALYSIS: U.S. Salmon Market Sees Increased Supplies In Response to Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
Mar 10 - This Week in Retail: Grocers Spring Forward; Latest CPI Data
Mar 7 - ANALYSIS: Uncertainty and Pressure Mount for Alaska Pollock
Mar 7 - ANALYSIS: Lower Price Movement Seen Across Canadian and Russian Snow Crab
Mar 3 - This Week in Retail: Global Uncertainty and the Food Supply Chain
Feb 24 - This Week in Retail: Farewell February; What's Next?
Feb 18 - This Week in Retail: A Look at Protein Indices So Far in 2022
Feb 17 - ANALYSIS: Snow Crab Market Quiet; Buying Opportunities Down and Retail Price Up
Feb 11 - This Week in Retail: Super Bowl Sales Wrap Up; Latest CPI Data
Feb 11 - ANALYSIS: Expect to Pay Up For Seafood This Valentine’s Day
Feb 9 - ANALYSIS: December 2021 Shrimp Imports Close Out Record Setting Year
Feb 7 - ANALYSIS: Blue Swimming Crab Market Adjusts to Less Demand, Higher Imports
ANALYSIS: China’s Appetite for Imported Shrimp Confirmed
The Chinese consumer market was boosted in January by the end of the COVID restrictions and the annual public holiday, celebrating the Lunar New Year on the 22nd. According to Chinese customs data, shrimp trade increased in volumes in November and December. A strong buying interest was further confirmed from Chinese importers, and had been confirmed this week by sources in Ecuador...
ANALYSIS: Pangasius Market Reporting Oversupply Ahead of Seafood Holidays
Import volumes through November 2022 are reporting 264.6 million pounds. This is the highest year-to-date total since the 2016 record year brought in just over 3 million pounds more for the same timeframe at 267.6 million pounds. Monthly import volume has exceeded the previous 3-year monthly average thus far with the highest grossing month, June, boasting 196.4 percent above average bringing in just over 34 million pounds...
The Retail Rundown: How Do Plant-Based Meat Sales Fare at Retail?
Plant protein has piqued increased interest among consumers in recent years. Within the plant protein arena, plant-based meat ranks second in terms of sales dollars, behind plant-based milk.
Boosted by growing demand among consumers, whether vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian, plant-based meat sales climbed to $1.4 billion in 2020, according to the Good Food Institute. That was up 45% from 2019 and a record year of growth. However, dollar sales of plant-based meat in 2021 were flat with the year prior at $1.4 billion.
Like conventional meat, the plant-based industry has weathered recent years of pandemic-related challenges including supply chain issues and inflation. A deeper dive into Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) data suggests that plant-based sales at retail could continue to stall following its sharp upward trajectory three years prior...
The Retail Rundown: Beef Dominates Total Sales; CPI Data Released
In this week’s retail rundown, we explore the economy and inflation with the latest CPI data signaling slowing inflation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data this morning, showing the index up 6.5% overall in December, in line with what analysts were anticipating. The food index rose 0.3% last month, following a 0.5% increase in November.
The food away from home index was up 0.4% last month. Food at home rose by 0.2%. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and...
This Week in Retail: Meat and Poultry Highlights of 2022
2022 has been another challenging year for retailers and participants throughout the supply chain, who have had to contend with the effects of drought, disease pressure, persistent inflation, and logistical issues—just to name a few.
In the face of rising wholesale prices, retail prices for several popular protein options including fresh ground beef, boneless skinless chicken breast, and bacon have hit fresh record highs this year, raising concerns among grocers over slowed consumer purchasing.
As we prepare to ring in the new year, a tight supply situation and...
This Week in Retail: The Christmas Countdown
Jingle bells—or should we say alarm bells—are ringing now that just two short weekends are left to shop for Christmas.
In the lead-up to the big day, grocers are focused on holiday spending as consumers prepare to celebrate the season with food and drinks. This sparks interest in the protein case and traditional favorites for the Christmas dinner table, including hams and rib roasts.
This week in retail, pork leads the charge in retail buying opportunities with 30 percent of total protein ad space. Seafood follows with 24.2 percent, while beef comes in with 22.3 percent. Chicken accounts for 15.5 percent, up slightly from the week prior.
Upon closer inspection, bacon features make up a large chunk of category ads within the pork complex. Brand-label bacon currently averages $6.43 per pound, up 19 cents a year ago and at a near seasonal all-time high. Shoppers can find holiday hams at a more palatable price point of $1.96 per pound on average, below $2.23 last year. Pork roasts are situated above 2021 levels at an average of $2.98 per pound but are competitively priced against many beef and chicken items...
This Week in Retail: Good Gravy… The 2022 Thanksgiving Rundown
The countdown to Thanksgiving is winding down and consumers are flocking to the supermarkets to secure last-minute needs for the big day.
While it’s hard to ignore the influx of headlines about the higher costs of this year’s feast, some major retailers are still featuring attractive deals on holiday staples despite supply constraints and macroeconomic headwinds.
Not to beat a dead horse (or should we say turkey), let’s look another look at the traditional centerpiece. Retail buying opportunities for turkey this week are at 24.5%, up from 21.5% last week. The big bird has seemingly stolen the spotlight from chicken, which plummeted to 2.4% this week versus 12.5% a week ago...
This Week in Retail: Grocers Focus on Holiday Demand in November
Store displays have been rapidly reconfigured from Halloween decor to Christmas trees and other quintessential holiday items. For retailers, November is one of the busiest months of the year.
Grocers are prepping for an uptick in foot traffic this month as households stock up for Thanksgiving—just three weeks away.
Big Bird’s The Word…
The wholesale turkey market has ascended to all-time highs this year due to supply constraints caused by the current outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Over 6 million commercial turkeys have been lost to the virus in 2022 so far.
Urner Barry’s whole, frozen young tom and hen turkeys are elevated in record-high territory across all regions. Since establishing this year's low of $1.39 per pound in January, 10 lbs hens have increased 33% to $1.85 per pound. This beats out the previous record set...
This Week in Retail: Egg Features Lag; CPI Data Outpaces Expectations
As the leaves change color and cooler weather begins to settle in, more households utilize their ovens for baking and slow-cooking ahead of the holiday season.
Typically, retail egg sales see a boost during the fall since more consumers cook breakfast at home more often. In addition, autumn baking draws attention to the egg case as shoppers stock up on ingredients for cookies, bread, pies, and more.
However, overall egg promotional activity is currently described as non-existent across all regions. Eggs account for 2% of retail buying opportunities this week, up slightly from the week prior but down considerably from this week in 2021...
This Week in Retail: Varying Supplies, Weather Influence Retail Activity
This week, the retail landscape is influenced by an assortment of factors including varying supplies of protein and the weather.
Looking at pork, hog supplies typically undergo a seasonal expansion from now into the early winter. October is National Pork Month and retailers usually promote pork features to boost sales as more product becomes available.
This year, however, persistent hog disease issues including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) have kept supplies relatively snug.
Hog values have depreciated since mid-summer and the national average hog price is currently down nearly 26% from August. Despite a seasonal correction, hog prices remain elevated at near all-time highs for this time of year. Urner Barry's wholesale pork cutout is down roughly 22% from its summer peak and is now 10% under 2021...
This Week in Retail: Seasonal Trends Start to Shift
Farewell, summer. Today is the first day of fall and seasonal retail trends are beginning to shift as grocers increasingly showcase autumn favorites like roasts and finger foods for football fans.
However, temperatures in many parts of the nation have yet to cool off substantially. This could stretch the grilling season for a little longer. As milder weather starts to settle in for the long run, more households may opt to cook indoors and up their oven usage.
Beef roasts have increased in feature volume and currently claim 27.4% of total beef ads. This compares to 22% of beef ads two weeks ago. Steaks still hold the majority of beef feature volume, followed by ground beef...
This Week in Retail: Seasonal Transition for the Meat Case
With Labor Day now behind us, retailers are preparing for the transition from summer staples to fall favorites.
Tailgaiting items like burgers and ribs are being featured in time for the National Football League season, which kicks off today! This could support sales at the meat case as consumers gather to cheer on their teams while chowing down on finger foods.
A game-time staple, chicken wings are on feature for $2.97 per pound, down 2 cents from a year ago. Wholesale wing prices have gained nearly 7 percent so far this year but are currently well below last year’s record highs, providing the opportunity for retailers and foodservice to showcase attractive promotions. However, boneless breasts have mostly been at record highs so far this year—unwelcome news for boneless wing lovers...
This Week in Retail: Gearing Up for the Last Major Retail Event of Summer
Grocers are gearing up for the last major retail buying occasion of the season—Labor Day weekend. The upcoming holiday signals the “unofficial end” of summer and retailers are making the final push for grilling items.
In the wholesale beef market, Urner Barry’s Choice beef cutout has been largely sideways since mid-May. At present, the cutout is down about 23% from last year's level, which was a seasonal all-time high.
However, the cutout remains at the second highest level in history for this time of year. This has made it difficult for grocers to procure inventory for holiday promotions at lower prices...
This Week in Retail: Beef Features Increase Ahead of Labor Day
It may be hard to believe, but Labor Day weekend is just over two weeks away.
Grocers have already completed the bulk of their purchases for the last major grilling occasion of the summer season.
The meat case could perform well over the holiday with several popular grilling items featured at lower price points compared to last year. Ground beef is likely to grab a large share of circular space as households fire up the grill with burgers and more...
This Week in Retail: Reviewing the Chicken Complex; CPI Update
This week in retail, we’ll take a deeper dive into the retail chicken landscape ahead of the approaching NFL season, which officially kicks off in four weeks.
Chicken currently ranks fourth in protein buying opportunities with 16.4%. Seafood, beef, and pork hold the top three spots, respectively.
Urner Barry’s Weekly Retail Feature Chicken Index is $2.96 per pound this week, up 10% from the 5-year average of $2.69 per pound.
Within the chicken complex, boneless skinless breasts hold the most ad volume at 42.5%. Drumsticks are the next highest featured item with 15.5% of total chicken ads...
ANALYSIS: June Shrimp Imports Edge Higher
June U.S. shrimp imports were released today and showed a slight gain compared to last year. The 169.422 million pounds were up 0.8 percent compared to June 2021, and while it was only marginally higher, it restored the import market back on trend. This reversed the surprise of lower shrimp imports in May.
The slower pace of gains continues to shrink the early year outsized gains, with year-to-date imports up 9.2 percent to nearly 1 billion pounds (968.329 million pounds). Nearly all our top 10 trade partners...
The Retail Rundown: Comparing Urner Barry's Protein Indices
Seafood features climbed to the top spot across proteins this week with 30% of feature volume. Pork follows with 24%, while beef chimes in with 22%—down from 27% the week prior. Chicken accounts for 19.5% of ad space, while turkey holds onto just over 2%. Buying opportunities for eggs have dwindled in recent weeks and are currently registering zero.
A look at Urner Barry's Weekly Retail Feature Indices so far this year shows that seafood features are priced the highest overall, while chicken features as a whole are the lowest. Seafood and chicken are above their respective year-ago levels, while pork and beef are showing a discount to 2022 levels...
The Retail Rundown: Seafood Feature Volume Increases
Seafood feature volume increased to the top spot across the protein complex this week. Seafood ads account for nearly 30% of total protein ads, while beef is a close second with 29%. Pork features claim about 23%, while chicken makes up 17%. With the holiday baking season behind us, egg features accounted for less than one percent of total retail buying opportunities.
In the seafood complex, fresh finfish was the top seller last week with $28.3 million in total sales, or about 32% of the total seafood sales value. A deeper dive into the finfish category shows fresh salmon as the leading species among shoppers. Salmon retailed at an average of $11.24 non-discounted, versus $10.37 discounted.
Fresh cod purchases ranked second with about $19.2 million in sales for the week ended January 8. In the frozen aisle, shrimp retailed at $9.23 non-discounted, 14.5% higher than its discounted average price. Convenient prepared options including frozen seafood cakes made a splash with $560,320 in total sales, according to Information Resources, Inc (IRI) data...
The Retail Rundown: Exploring COMTELL’s Revamped Retail Section
Urner Barry, the leading provider of protein news and information in the food industry, has overhauled the retail section on COMTELL by utilizing scanner data from Information Resources, Incorporated (IRI), a leading global analytics and data provider from the retail space.
Through the data from IRI, COMTELL now features a vastly larger database of retail items and related statistics, including hundreds more seafood items and 3 to 5 times as many meat and poultry items. Lamb, veal, and sausage items are also now represented.
Each new item contains...
This Week in Retail: Sleigh-ing the Competition with Holiday Deals
With the cost of living remaining high for many households, retailers are hoping to earn consumer dollars with attractive deals in the final days leading up to Christmas.
Last-minute shoppers looking to procure their centerpieces for the holiday dinner table can find competitive offerings on a wide array of proteins this week.
Looking at this week's protein ads, pork features currently hold the top slot with 31.2% of total retail activity. Seafood follows with 26.5% of ad space, while beef features account for 22%. Turkey makes up 8.2% of circular space and chicken holds onto 7.7% of total retail activity. Egg features are nearly non-existent with just 0.4%.
In the pork complex, ham features claim 31% of all pork feature activity. Holiday hams average $2.18 per pound, up 27 cents from a year ago. Bone-in butt half hams are featured at $2.32 per pound, a whopping 63.4% higher than this week in...
This Week in Retail: Grocers Deck the Halls With December Deals
Deck the halls with… wait—it’s December already?
Now that Thanksgiving is yesterday's news, retailers are honing in on Christmas and other holiday demands. This month, several seasonal factors shape both the wholesale and retail markets.
For beef, wholesale prices typically take on a softer undertone towards the year's end once holiday orders are filled. Last year, Urner Barry's Choice cutout value shaved off nearly 10% from the beginning of November to the tail end of December.
On the contrary, retail prices typically climb to some of their highest levels of the year late this month. This is largely due to increased demand for high-quality beef cuts around the holidays...
This Week in Retail: Busy Shoppers Seek Convenience; Inflation Eased in October
Busy shoppers are increasingly seeking convenience during the hectic holiday season. This typically increases sales at food service and boosts interest in the prepared and frozen sections at retail.
The meat case is receiving lots of attention, too, as grocers heavily promote traditional holiday items including ham and turkey.
The National Retail Federation expects overall holiday spending this year to perform well despite ongoing inflationary pain points. The NRF projects holiday retail sales during November and December to grow between 6% to 8% year-over-year. Last year's holiday sales hit a new high at $889.3 billion, lifted in part by pandemic spending.
This week in retail, pork features climbed to the number one spot in retail buying opportunities with 23.2%. Beef closely follows with about 22%. Turkey features have swelled to 19.1%, compared to just 6.4% the week prior. Chicken ads chime in at 13.7%, while egg features have seen a slight uptick to...
This Week in Retail: Turkey is the Talk of the Town
Now that November is within reach, the floodgates have opened for holiday campaigns. The protagonist of the show—turkey—has garnered widespread attention and snatched headlines this year as tight supplies and high prices could make procuring the Thanksgiving centerpiece more challenging.
However, some retail outlets continue to utilize turkey as a loss leader and have already begun promoting minimum in-store spending deals for heavily discounted or free turkeys, along with hams and other staples for the holiday.
Consumer spending at retail this year is under question as household bills remain high in the face of inflation—forcing some consumers to reconfigure their budgets...
ANALYSIS: August Shrimp Imports Decline Accelerates
August U.S. shrimp imports were released Wednesday, with year-over-year declines accelerating from last month. The data showed a 20 percent decline from August 2021, which was an all-time monthly record of 196.745 million pounds, and further supported expectations that July was the beginning of a reversal of a years’ long trend. August shrimp imports came in at 157.381 million pounds which was still the third highest total for the month in history but narrowed the year-to-date margin to 1.9 percent at 1.275 billion pounds...
ANALYSIS: Canadian Snow Crab Prices Begin Rebound
The Canadian snow crab market in the U.S. looks to have bounced off its 52-week lows which were seen mid-August. The past four to five weeks has seen both the Newfoundland and Gulf 5-8 and 8-up market rebound from those lows. Each has trended higher since mid-August, up 3.3 percent and 5.3 percent respectively. Market activity is reported to be improved from where things sat several weeks ago.
With that being said, individual inventory positions continue to look to vary greatly in...
This Week in Retail: Protein Indices Are Above 3-Year Average; CPI Data Released
In the face of ongoing inflationary pressures along with animal disease issues impacting the protein industry, wholesale beef, pork, and poultry prices continue to reside at or challenge all-time highs.
In the retail red meat complex, Urner Barry’s weekly retail feature beef index this week averages $6.34 per pound, down $1.02 per pound from a week ago but 6 cents per pound above the 3-year average.
The boxed beef market is currently moving mostly sideways but has dipped to 52-week lows in recent days. Despite this, Urner Barry's Choice and Select cutouts remain at near seasonal all-time highs, second or third to 2021 and 2014....
ANALYSIS: Blue Swimming Crab Meat Dips Below 2017 Levels
The blue swimming crab meat market continued to adjust lower this week and all sizes are at 52-week lows. Looking at jumbo lump, we notice that current pricing is 2 percent higher than the 5-year average; compare that to 14 percent higher only a month ago. When looking at pricing on a cyclical basis, current levels have now dipped below 2017 levels.
Heading into Labor Day, demand was reported to be dull by most, with some citing a more fair to moderate demand...
Crab meat headed into Norfolk up 54 percent
With crab meat imports at the highest levels seen in recent history, dating back to 2007, it is interesting to look at where the crab meat is going in the country. With challenges well documented on the West Coast, specifically into the port of L.A., it makes sense that we have seen a shift to ports away from that area. However, an area of growth that has been more dramatic has been the shift to Norfolk, VA. Norfolk year-to-date is almost on par with New York...
ANALYSIS: Canada Lobster Tail, Meat Exports to U.S. Fall Short in June
Lobster tail and meat import flow into the United States from Canada continues to lag the 2021 pace but is more in-line with the five-year average.
The in-shell category is down 34.7% in June and 35.1% YTD when compared to last year, but just 6% off the five-year pace.
The meat category is down 24.9% in June, and...
ANALYSIS: Blue Swimming Crab Meat Continues Decline Into August
The blue swimming crab meat market continued to adjust lower throughout the week as it has since the beginning of 2022. Current pricing on blue jumbo lump is 27.5 percent lower than the beginning of the year and 13.4 percent lower than the start of the summer season. Summer has from a historical standpoint always been the more active demand period for crab meat as many users flock to the seashore and enjoy crab cakes. But with inventories tough to build during the pandemic and pricing at...