Asda is overhauling its fish counters with a new three-step system of buying fish in a bid to boost sales and improve its quality credentials.

The service, launched in 302 stores today, lets consumers choose from 20 varieties of fish and a selection of 11 ‘Chosen by you’ marinades, sauces, flavoured butters and crumb toppings. Shoppers can also choose to have the fish served in a microwave bag, oven bag or BBQ foil tray. The service will cost £4 for two fish portions (including container and flavouring).

It follows earlier trials at four of the retailers’ stores, which lead to a 15% increase in sales.

“Introducing the Chosen by you range of complimentary sauces and cooking methods gives our customers added convenience at no extra cost,” said Jill Skipsey, Asda’s fish counter buyer.

The move comes after online research by YouGov, and commissioned by Asda, found one fifth of Brits do not buy fresh fish because they are put off by the smell and feel of raw fish and lack confidence in preparing and cooking it.

Asda has invested £1.6m in developing the fish counters.