Whitby Seafoods – reportedly the UK’s largest scampi manufacturer – claimed it had supplied 1 million portions of the breaded shellfish to its supermarket customers, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.
The increased demand for its products followed a recent investment by the manufacturer to double its production capacity, a move that has allowed Whitby to keep up with demand.
Commenting on the surge in scampi sales, sales and marketing director Laura Whittle said: “We had heard on the news about shoppers stockpiling toilet roll and cupboard staples, but were surprised to hear from our retail customers that sales of scampi were at their highest level in years as their shoppers were clearing shelves.
“Luckily, fishing is good and we have lots of capacity – in fact, we are investing in projects to help our customers keep the product on the shelves to support supermarket staff keeping up with the demand.”
While Whitby sells a range of seafood products into the frozen section, the uplift in sales of scampi has outweighed its sales of fishcakes and calamari.
“We understand that scampi is part of our British culinary heritage and that Whitby Scampi – being made in Yorkshire and fished in the British Isles, has the provenance that customers look for,” Whittle added.
The continued threat of coronavirus in the UK has led to some food and drink businesses to alter their approaches to business to help alleviate some of the pressure on the supply chain.
Vertically integrated retailer Morrisons said it would move to immediate payments for its smaller goods for resale suppliers, with the aim of releasing payment to banks within 48 hours to help support their cashflow during the ongoing pandemic.
Meanwhile, a third (34%) of shoppers are already stockpiling food in case of a major outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID-19, according to an online survey of 1,000 consumers.