Foodservice demand for shellfish is surging, according to a new report.
Broadline foodservice distributors shipped about 331 million pounds of shrimp, lobster and other shellfish to independent and small-chain restaurants in 2017, 7 percent more than the year before, according to new SupplyTrack data from Chicago-based research firm The NPD Group.
Pound shipments of shrimp, the largest shellfish category, rose 6 percent last year. White shrimp accounted for 69 percent of shrimp sales, followed by brown and black tiger shrimp.
Consumers ordered about 901 million servings of shellfish at U.S. restaurants and other foodservice outlets in 2017, according to the report. Dinner remains the biggest daypart for shellfish consumption, but breakfast servings were up 6 percent and afternoon snack servings up 17 percent.
“With the flavor, versatility, and health benefits, fish and seafood provide operators a great opportunity to create innovative and healthy menu items their guests want,” says Tim Fires, SupplyTrack’s executive director.