THE age old tradition of eating fish at Easter is not dying out despite an increasingly secular Britain, new data shows.
Sales of seafood rose substantially over the 2016 Easter retail period, with chilled fish and shellfish making the biggest gains, according to the latest market information published by Seafish.
The figures showed a 6.5 per cent increase in the value of overall seafood sold in the two weeks incorporating Easter Sunday and Monday, compared to the two weeks previous.
Seafish says this is a significant improvement compared to the 0.5 per cent in seafood sales reported in Easter last year.
Chilled fish saw the most significant jump, with an 8.7 per cent rise in sales during the two Easter weeks compared to the prior fortnight.
Breaking the chilled market sector down further, natural and dusted seafood had the most notable surges, with sales of each rising by 14.1 per cent 3.5 per cent respectively.
Shellfish was firmly on the menu this Easter, with consumers shelling out on their favourite crustaceans. There was an 18.5 per cent spike in sales of chilled lobster during Easter.
However, this jump is less significant than in 2015, where there was a rise in sales of 22.3 per cent.
Chilled crab sales also rose by 11.8 per cent, compared to 5.4per cent last year while chilled crayfish sales were up by almost eight per cent.
A number of other species sold chilled saw a considerable bump in sales, with family favourites flying off the shelves in time for the Easter celebrations. Sales of chilled, natural cod rose considerably by 43.8 per cent up by over 30 per cent on 2015.
Julia Brooks, market insight analyst at Seafish, said: ‘Easter has always been the perfect time to enjoy seafood with your nearest and dearest, and these figures show that more and more people are choosing fresh fish as an alternative, or accompaniment to, the traditional Easter roast.
‘As well as being a strong indicator of shifting consumer tastes, it is very encouraging to see the positive effects of retailers expanding their product ranges and championing a variety of seafood for Easter.’