Seafood Product Preparation & Packaging

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 450 seafood product preparation and packaging companies in the US process fish, shellfish, crustacea, seaweed, and other sea life into fresh, canned, dried, smoked and frozen foods, as well as bait and seaweed products. Processors are often located along coasts or rivers to speed access to fresh catches. Some firms process seafood on vessels or “floating factory ships”.

Health and Seasonality of Fisheries Supply

The seafood product preparation and packaging industry relies on healthy fisheries and is subject to limits on seasonal catches.

Meeting Health Regulations

NOAA’s Fisheries Seafood Inspection Program and the FDA inspect operations and ensure that the industry complies with food safety regulations.

Industry size & Structure

The average seafood product manufacturer operates a single location, employs 638 workers and generates $31-32 million in annual revenue.

    • The industry consists of about 450 companies that employ 28,300 workers and generate $14.3 billion in annual revenue.
    • The industry is concentrated with the 20 largest firms representing 59% of industry revenue.
    • The average American consumes 20.5 pounds of fish and shellfish each year, which totals more than 6.5 million pounds consumed annually.
    • Large companies include SeaPak, Beaver Street Fisheries, East Coast Seafood, American Seafoods Group, and H&N Foods International. Many of the large companies, like Thai Union, Starkist, and Bumble Bee, are US divisions of foreign firms.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Seafood Product Preparation & Packaging Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  May 23, 2024 - Local Processor Expanding
                                  • North Carolina seafood processor Locals Seafood, a supplier of locally-sourced fish to the Triangle area and throughout the state, has a growth strategy focused on wholesale and retail expansion and building a market for North Carolina catch, Axios Raleigh reports. Launched in 2010 as a roadside seller of North Carolina shrimp, the company in May opened a market and a 10,000-square-foot processing and cold storage facility in East Raleigh that's among the largest inland fish processing facilities in the state and triples Locals' processing capacity. Locals Seafood promotes local catch, including traditionally overlooked species like sheepshead, black drum, and mullet, and is an evangelist for North Carolina seafood. A supplier to restaurants and grocery stores, including Whole Foods, wholesale accounts for 90% of sales. Retail customers can buy fresh fish at the company's East Raleigh market and learn to shuck oysters and clean and fillet fish.
                                  • Producer prices for seafood product preparation and packaging firms sank 7.3% in March compared to a year ago after rising 3% in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Weak demand for seafood products by US consumers is depressing volume sales. Employment by the industry fell sharply, down 26.4% year over year in March, while average wages at food manufacturers rose 3.5% over the same period to $22.94 per hour, BLS data show.
                                  • US sales of fresh and frozen seafood should stabilize this year after a challenging 2023, SeafoodSource reports, citing retail analysts attending the 2024 National Fisheries Institute-hosted Global Seafood Market Conference in Orlando, Florida, in January. Last year, overall fresh and frozen seafood sales declined due to factors including inflation's impact on shoppers’ spending, subsequent depleted savings, and the resumption of student debt payments. In 2023, refrigerated finfish volume fell by 3.8%, while dollar sales declined by 1.8%. Similarly, frozen finfish volume fell 4.2%, and dollar sales were down 3.1%. Refrigerated shellfish sales sank 5.6%, while volume rose 0.9% – likely due to surprise growth in crab sales. Frozen shellfish followed finfish’s trends.
                                  • Consumers fished for value when shopping for seafood in 2023, Seafood Source reports. But even a slowdown in inflation wasn’t enough to reverse a downward slide in sales across most categories of seafood last year. Year-end data from market research firm Circana shows more than half (55%) of seafood shoppers looked for sales and deals more often throughout 2023 – cutting costs either by buying more private-label products, clipping coupons, or following in-store promotions. Other cost-saving strategies included shopping at value-focused retailers, frequenting multiple stores in search of deals, or changing stores altogether, a report by 210 Analytics found. “This has led to substantial channel shifting when comparing the share of refrigerated seafood dollars in 2023 versus the channel share distribution in 2019,” 210 Analytics President Anne-Marie Roerink said.
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