The Food Marketing Institute has added seafood to its list of comprehensive industry reports.

Arlington, Virginia-based FMI released its Power of Seafood report March 19. The report explores seafood through the eyes of the shopper.

With a smaller household penetration than other grocery category giants, but an above-average basket value, the analysis reveals the potential to grow and attract new seafood shoppers in a category generating $12 billion in retail sales.

“Seafood consumers typically do not purchase all their seafood from one place. In fact, only 34% of seafood consumers purchase all their seafood from their primary store,” according to the report. “Aside from their primary seafood store, seafood consumers shop for their seafood at a wide variety of other places, such as seafood markets, but not online.”

While some consumers buy seafood when it is on sale, according to FMI, they are more likely to buy based on quality. Product quality ranks highest among 10 factors that impact the seafood purchase decision.  

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends eating seafood at least twice per week, but only 21% of adults eat seafood the recommended two times per week,” says Rick Stein, FMI’s vice president of fresh foods. “The consumption of seafood by consumers in the U.S. falls significantly behind poultry, meat and pork, with consumption around 16 pounds per year, compared to more than 100 pounds of other animal proteins.”

Forty-four percent of adults are not even frequent or occasional seafood consumers, eating seafood less than once per month. The food retail industry has an opportunity to educate consumers on how to buy, cook and prepare seafood to help shoppers increase their consumption, Stein adds.