Chilled fish is the only Meat, Fish and Poultry (MFP) category which is growing ahead of the wider market rate at 3.2%, Kantar Worldpanel has revealed.

Data covering the 12 weeks to 7th October shows there is strong value growth particularly from shellfish and smoked fish.

There have been 1.5m more trips compared to last year, but fewer new shoppers than expected, meaning existing shoppers are buying more often.

Shellfish growth is particularly visible in in prawns, mussels and shrimps, but underlying all of this is rising prices – up 9% on last year.

Smoked salmon and haddock are driving the growth in smoked fish, which has seen 980,000 more trips this year, despite a rising average price in the category.

Nathan Ward, business unit director, MFP, explains: “Smoked salmon is resurgent, with promoted sales up 14% this year driving shoppers to buy more premium smoked salmon.

“The return of natural fish is boosting the category, with volume sales up 8% and 17% more sales on promotion this year holding down average prices. This has resulted in natural fish picking up half a million more shoppers and seeing 1.5m more trips.

“Salmon is once again the key driver, with volumes up 962,000 kilos (19%) and 2.3m more trips.”

Fresh primary meat and poultry sales on the other hand are not seeing the benefit, with red meat continuing to suffer.

Red meat has seen a decline in volume terms across beef, pork and, most strongly, lamb. The latter has seen 2.3m fewer trips than this period last year, with only leg joints in growth.

Chicken breasts have seen volume growth of almost 10%, and added an extra 2.5m trips over this period.