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Last year, more than half of the world's raw albacore tuna (150,000 tons) was used to produce 9 million canned albacore tuna worth USD 750 million

Americans consume most of the albacore tuna in the world

Click on the flag for more information about United States UNITED STATES
Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 19:50 (GMT + 9)

Albacore tuna sold as Solid White and Chunk White is still popular with US consumers. As a result, the US market has consumed the majority of albacore catch (thunnus alalunga) from all oceans.

Americans consume about 58% of the world's albacore tuna catches, mostly sold below in the retail segment of canned tuna products. Last year, more than half of the world's raw albacore tuna (150,000 tons) was used to produce 9 million canned albacore tuna worth USD 750 million. This figure accounts for nearly half the value of the entire US canned tuna market.

Global albacore tuna production in 2018 is estimated at 260,000 tons and the final market value is about USD 2.4 billion - this year this figure is expected to reach USD 3 billion.

"Kirkland Signature" is Costco's private label

In the US retail market, 30% of canned tuna sold are products made from albacore while most are light tuna - Chunk Light (skipjack tuna). About 10% of albacore tuna is bagged while the remainder is consumed in prepackaged food packages for family meals (meal kits).

Traditional groceries dominate the tuna retail market with a 55% market share (equivalent to 17 million cases sold) while large retailers like Walmart come in second with 23%, followed by Costo, Sam's and BJ's. 

Bumble Bee dominates the white tuna segment


Photo: Bumble Bee

When it comes to the albacore tuna segment, Bumble Bee holds a dominant market share, which accounted for about 40% last year and consumed 3.1 million cans of tuna.

StarKist has a 31% market share, while US buyers have purchased 2.1 million cases of Thai Union's Chicken of the Sea products.

Photo: StarKist

Private brands account for only a small market share in this segment - about 700,000 cases, while the rest is supplied by brands of smaller importers.

Thai canned producers are still the main buyers of frozen whole albacore, most of which are processed for export to the US market and sold under the name of white meat tuna (Solid White Tuna). Last year, the US imported 39,435 tons of canned tuna from Thailand, including other tuna species.

Source: Van Ha/VASEP

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