Demand for Canned Tuna Stays Strong



Sales Hit Record Highs


For decades, canned tuna producers struggled with declining sales and a consumer base that thought of their products as old-fashioned. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and sales of canned tuna went through the roof. Analysts say this trend is likely to continue for some time.

Bumble Bee Foods reported that sales of canned and pouched tuna rose 100% between mid-March and early April. Costco (COST) placed limits on how much tuna people could buy when panic-purchasing began. This was not just a temporary surge in sales. Canned tuna has continued to fly off shelves since the pandemic began.

Due to supply chain constraints, producers are having a difficult time keeping up with the demand increase. Retailers have been able to keep tuna prices stable so far, but wholesale tuna prices have spiked 41% since last year. This contrasts with trends in other wholesale seafood markets, where prices are dropping sharply due to restaurant closures.

The Canned Tuna Supply Chain


The tuna supply chain is long and complicated. About 40% of commercial tuna is caught in the western and central Pacific Ocean near very small countries like Tuvalu and Kiribati. Then, the fish is processed on Pacific islands, or in Asia or South America. Often, it then makes its way to a third country to be canned before reaching its final destination in a grocery store.

Though it has been a successful year for tuna fishing, border issues related to the pandemic have caused bottlenecks in the supply chain. Demand for tuna shows little sign of slowing down, and producers are working to streamline their processes.

More Than Just Panic Buying


Analysts have been surprised by the longevity of the canned tuna boom since the pandemic began. Many believe that this trend is here to stay, at least for a while. Joerg Ayrle, the CFO of Thai Union (TU:TB) which owns the tuna brand Chicken of the Sea explained , “People are asking, is this pantry-loading? Is this consumption? I would say, every pantry-loading leads to higher consumption. People are not just leaving that in their pantry. They are consuming it.”

Tuna is one of the cheapest protein sources available, costing as little as $1 per 5-ounce can. People may keep consuming tuna, not just because it lasts long and is a good way to avoid frequent trips to the store, but because it is cost-effective.


Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.
SOSS071702


All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

ABOUT SoFi SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing, and protecting give our more than one million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of like-minded, ambitious people. For more information, visit SoFi.com. Want an easy and convenient way to manage your financial life? Get the SoFi app. For iOS and Android.


TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender