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Fresh perceptions: shopper satisfaction with fresh pre-packed fish
Shopper satisfaction with fresh fish      
  Tesco Sainsburys Asda Morrisons Waitrose M&S Aldi Lidl
Quality 74% 76% 79% 84% 90% 93% 87% 87%
Freshness 70% 79% 74% 88% 88% 92% 79% 83%
Source: Shopper Intelligence survey of 538 UK category shoppers, September 2018    

The most important attribute in pre-packed fish is freshness. Shoppers will walk away and buy another option for dinner if their needs are not met.

Morrisons is ranked highly on freshness, with Waitrose and M&S. It achieves this by merging counter and pre-packed into a seamless offer. 

Waitrose and M&S convey freshness through spotlessly clean and well-lit shelves. Both keep packaging minimalist. 

M&S is strong on quality and its shoppers will pay extra. Its fish is good, but the way it co-merchandises sauces is even better. It turns what could be just a meal centre ingredient into a tempting idea. 

Jeremy Garlick, partner, Insight Traction

Frozen resurgence: fish value sales
Fish value sales  
Top three chilled fish  
  Value this year (£m)  % y-o-y
Salmon   694.6 5.2
Prawns   251.1 -2.7
Cod   206.5 6.1
Top three frozen fish  
Cod   259.0 3.5
Prawns   153.2 2.3
Pollock   115.6 10.6
Top three ambient fish  
Standard Tuna   299.5 7.4
Red Salmon   56.5 -0.6
Mackerel Fillets   47.1 7.0
Source: Kantar Worldpanel, 52 w/e 15 July 2018   

Value growth in chilled fish has been driven by salmon sales, which grew ahead of the total market and now account for 37% of the category. Chilled salmon is bought by 54% of UK shoppers, with the average shopper spending £47.34 on the category across the year.

Chilled cod is also increasingly important, with volume growth of 2.3% helping move the category to an 11% share of value and a 13.6% share of volume sales in the market.

The resurgence of frozen fish has continued, with value growth and volume fairly static despite rising prices. Frozen continues to be picked up by the vast majority of UK households, with more than 87% of all shoppers buying in. The key to future growth will be in stimulating shoppers to buy more frequently. 

The ambient market is brand-dominated, but own-label has thrived this year and now accounts for 47% of the market. This growth is a result of higher volume sales, but price rises in own label (up 5.8%) are also having an impact.

Jim McKenna, Kantar Worldpanel