Seafood nets bumper Christmas sales

7th January 2021 | Eativity editors

They asked for a helping hand, and Australians heeded the call. The seafood industry has applauded consumers for supporting their local seafood producers over the festive season, driving a 30 percent growth in December seafood sales.

“It’s no secret 2020 was a hard year for the Australian seafood industry,” says Seafood Industry Australia CEO Veronica Papacosta. “We needed a bumper Christmas period to help us claw our way back; we called on the community to support us and switch one meal on the Christmas table to Australian seafood, and we are thrilled to report they did just that.

“Australians well and truly farewelled the traditional Christmas roast in favour of our fresh, easy as, great Australian seafood. It’s encouraging to see so many Aussies supporting their local seafood producers, and we hope this continues.”

Who could resist? Aussies embraced the seafood feast at festive tables across the country.

Seafood Industry Australia is hearing from retailers and producers right across the country that they’re up, on average, 30 percent from last year’s December sales.

“We know this isn’t every retailer or producer,” Papacosta cautions. “Those who rely on cross-border trade and exports weren’t as fortunate, but we’ve heard countless reports of queues forming at 6am and people waiting very patiently for one or two hours to support their local seafood producers; and we thank you.”

Australian prawns, rock oysters, crabs and bugs were the most popular this holiday season, with Australian rock lobsters also scoring a place as a favourite table centrepiece. This 2020 surprise Christmas hit was made possible thanks to Woolworths, Coles and independent retailers all chipping in to help get more Aussie seafood onto Aussie tables, including the coveted $20 Western Australian rock lobsters.

Almost half of all Australian prawn consumption occurs over the Christmas period.

While the industry has been buoyed by its festive sales, this doesn’t mean it’s completely in the clear. Key foodservice and export markets are still trending down, and the industry continues to be impacted by the ongoing trade riff with China.

“We need people to continue to support their local seafood industry, and to do that they just need to eat more Australian seafood!” Papacosta says. “If just one percent of the population committed to changing one meal a week to locally-sourced Australian seafood, that would be more than 250,000 meals per week of Australian seafood on tables around the country. This could mean the difference between a fisher making or missing a mortgage payment, or a boat heading out of harbour or spending another week docked.”

To find quality Australian seafood near you, head to the Great Australian Seafood website and click on the Fish Finder to search by postcode. There’s even an icon to let you know if they’re selling Australian rock lobsters.