fish seafood counter

Festive seafood sales hit their highest level in four years last Christmas, according to new data from Seafish.

Brits bought eight million kg of seafood, worth £98m, during the week running up to Christmas Day 2016 - representing a volume and value sales increase of 25.4% and 24.5% respectively on the same period in 2015, the industry body said.

Fresh fish accounted for the bulk of the total, with sales up by £15m (26.6%) year on year to £69m. However, sales of ambient seafood also increased, rising £1.5m year on year to £8m.

Prawns, whitebait, lobster and caviar all proved popular over the festive period, with “significant increases” in volumes of these species sold compared with last Christmas, Seafish said.

Sales of coldwater prawns were up 132.5% year on year to £10.9m in the week running up to Christmas Day.

“It’s good to see consumers embrace seafood of all varieties and species,” said Julia Brooks, market insight analyst at Seafish.

“Retailers are offering a wider variety of flavoured fresh, frozen and ambient seafood, which make it even easier to incorporate seafood into any meal.”