After chicken and beef, fish and seafood is the third most commonly eaten meat in Australia, consumed by 57 per cent of the population and purchased by 24 per cent of Australian grocery buyers in an average seven days, according to latest findings from Roy Morgan Research.
While supermarkets are by far the most popular place to buy fresh seafood, specialty retailers such as markets and other fresh fish shops also attract their fair share of shoppers, especially in capital cities.
Last year, 66 per cent of country-based grocery buyers who bought fresh seafood did so at a supermarket, compared with 53 per cent of their city dwelling counterparts.
In contrast, a greater proportion of city-based seafood shoppers bought fish at markets, 12 per cent versus six per cent, or other fresh fish shops, 31 per cent versus 25 per cent.
State by state
Victorian grocery buyers are the country’s most prolific fresh seafood shoppers, with 26 per cent purchasing it in an average seven days, just ahead of NSW at 25 per cent and Western Australia 23 per cent.
Nineteen per cent of Victorians who buy fresh seafood purchase it from a market: a much higher proportion than in other states. At nine per cent South Australians are a distant second.
Meanwhile, WA seafood shoppers are the likeliest to make their purchase at supermarkets at 69 per cent, just ahead of Queenslanders at 66 per cent.
People who buy their seafood at a market tend to spend more – an average outlay of $35 in any given seven days – than those who get it from some other fresh fish shop – $27 – or at a supermarket – $19.
Angela Smith, group account director at Roy Morgan Research, said seafood is a healthy culinary option for the whole family, and is eaten by almost 60 per cent of the population in any given seven day period.
“Most grocery buyers who buy fresh seafood purchase it from a supermarket. Not only is this convenient for those who prefer a one-stop grocery shop, but it seems to be cheaper: certainly, people who buy seafood from a supermarket spend less than those who buy it from more specialised retailers,” said Smith.
“However, when we combine the proportions of city-based grocery-shoppers who buy their seafood from a market, fresh fish shop or elsewhere, the total is almost the same as the proportion who get theirs from a supermarket. Of course, people living in capital cities have more choice as to where they buy their fresh seafood, and tend to earn higher incomes, which would allow them to better afford market prices.”