Rising Sushi Sales
Americans love their readily available sushi. While some enthusiasts might turn up their noses at the idea of buying a sushi roll from the grocery store, supermarket sushi sales rose 70% in the past year.
US consumers’ growing obsession with low-cost sushi is no accident. Major chains like Kroger (KR), Albertsons (ACI), and Whole Foods (AMZN) have invested in enhancing the quality of pre-made sushi rolls in an attempt to lure inflation-wary customers away from restaurants.
One Kroger Roll, Please
Kroger, America’s largest supermarket operator, is also the biggest seller of sushi in the US.
Kroger typically sells more than 40 million pieces of sushi every year. Shoppers currently buy a million items from the sushi menu each week, positioning its sushi sales for more growth.
In total, the grocery conglomerate operates 2,700 stores across the country and generated about $148 billion in sales last year, with an estimated $400-to-$600 million from sushi.
Kroger has gone to great lengths to enhance the quality of its sushi, offering unique rolls depending on a store’s location and keeping up with trends.
The Fight for Your Dining Dollars
With grocery prices surging post-pandemic, attracting shoppers has become more complicated. By offering a wider selection of affordable meals, stores are vying for foot traffic. Sushi and other pre-made meals are part of a larger strategy to lure customers away from restaurants.
Strong sushi sales have so far not cannibalized other items in the pre-made food aisle. On the contrary, the sushi success story has actually lifted sales of other prepared meals. Meanwhile, grocery stores are taking a bite out of sushi restaurant sales.
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