Focus on fish: Chilled regains its cool

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Shoppers are turning their backs on frozen fish and switching to chilled, spurred by supplier innovation taking out the fuss factor

The fish category has undergone a dramatic sea change in the past year. Not only has the industry fundamentally restructured, consumer behaviour, too, has shifted, with chilled regaining its cool while frozen and ambient find themselves out in the cold.

In a remarkable reversal of fortunes, chilled has turned around last year’s 0.1% fall in value and 6.8% drop in volume to post growth of 7.5% and 2.6% respectively [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 2 September 2012]. Frozen, on the other hand, has slowed down sharply, growing 2.8% in value and just 0.6% in volume compared with 3.4% and 2.5% respectively last year. And as a result of inflation, ambient is up 6.7% value-wise but has gone into reverse volume-wise, slumping 3.7%.

So what’s changed and has it set the tone for the year ahead – or are further swings on the cards? 

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