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Higher US Tuna Prices “Not A problem For Mom” United States, March 29, 13

Higher prices for canned tuna in US supermarkets are “not a problem for mom”, said Chris Lischewski, CEO of Bumble Bee Foods. The company is America’s market leader in albacore “white” tuna and a major player in canned “light” skipjack. “Sales in the USA are down because of a lack of promotions, not necessarily the higher prices,” he explained in an interview with Undercurrent News.

“US retailers have to start promoting canned tuna at higher price levels. Last year, we had the biggest decline in promotional activity,” said Lischewski.
Canned tuna is the category in the US retail canned seafood sector seafood that gets the second biggest lift from all categories from promotions.
The canned tuna category is down 5% on volume for the last 12 weeks. “We haven’t moved pricing down, so volumes are down, but margins are up “.
Sales of tuna can only improve “if we can get retailers to promote again”. “The US tuna industry needs retailers to reengage in promoting tuna at higher price points to help desensitize shoppers to these new promotional prices” said Lischewski.
“We have seen significant increases in consumption when retailers begin to display tuna as part of their merchandising events. Shoppers want value and canned tuna remains a healthy, value protein in contrast to other center store categories.”
“Yet, with the run up in resource costs last year, our category became under-valued in the eyes of many retailers and while their dollar sales were up, volume generally declined. To ignite tuna sales volumes and grow profitability, US retailers would benefit from adjusting their strategies to increase feature and display activity in the high volume, heavily shopped, tuna category,” Bumble Bee CEO said in the Undercurrent News interview.