The predicted shortage of red salmon halves (The Grocer, July 31, 1999) is starting to bite at shelf edges. The differential between talls and both halves or the baby 105g cans are substantially slimmer than one might have expected. A typical own label example is £1.49 for 105g, £1.69 for 212g, against talls at £2.79. Given the size and speed of last year's pack, traders need to be very vigilant on quality. Most of 1999's Alaskan salmon were caught in a 10 day frenzy that swamped local canneries, which filled the biggest cans they had. Buyers should check how far the fish travelled before it was packed. The prospects of Easter offers are unlikely. {{PROVISIONS }}

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