NFI’s Top 10 List Offers a Look Back in Time

Washington, DC – In 2020, Americans ate 19 pounds of seafood per capita, down slightly from 19.3 pounds in 2019. The onset of COVID-19 brought significant disruption to traditional business operations and consumer behaviors. While restaurants were forced to shutter, there was an impressive up-tick in seafood purchases at retail but apparently not enough to find an equilibrium in the first full year of the pandemic.

With a reputation for versatility at home and in foodservice, Shrimp not only maintained the top spot but grew its number, reaching a record for the crustation at 5 pounds per person. Shelf stable stalwart Canned Tuna saw a jump in consumption, as did a variety of value white fish. Meanwhile, Scallops joined the Top Ten List.

The raw data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is historically retrospective, so pandemic-related market forces will likely only really be illustrated by data released over the next few years.

“The next Top Ten list could answer some long-held questions,” said NFI Programs Director, Richard Barry. “Keep in mind, experts at the Global Seafood Market Conference, in January, were busy mapping a predicted overall increase in pandemic-era seafood consumption and species diversification trends, so watch this space.”

RankSpecies2020 (lbs/capita)
3Canned Tuna2.60
5Alaska Pollock0.88
 Per Capita Consumption19.0
 Total Top 1014.60
 All Other Species Consumption4.40
 Top 10 as % of Total Consumption77%

NFI is the leading trade association for the seafood industry whose members represent a variety of businesses from the water to the table.  For more information visit our website at