Birds Eye is investigating the market potential for a new range of natural fish and seafood products in the UK, less than a month after news emerged that it had called time on its Naked & Natural fish range.

The frozen food specialist is carrying out consumer research to gauge British shoppers' appetite for frozen uncoated or "naked" fish and to assess perceptions of the Birds Eye brand.

Participants in a 30-minute online survey commissioned by Birds Eye are being asked whether they think the company would offer high quality and good value if it were "about to launch a new range of frozen uncoated fish".

The survey also solicits opinions on Birds Eye in general including its value for money and trustworthiness and consumers' habits when shopping for frozen fish.

Natural fish was a product area that was "under-developed and under-invested" said Birds Eye marketing director Ben Pearman, but he insisted the company had "no imminent plans" to launch a new natural fish range to the UK market. Pearman said Birds Eye was frequently testing new product concepts on consumers, but few ideas actually made it to launch. He added that the company would focus on its Simply Bake to Perfection line of fish with sauce for now.

Birds Eye previously made a foray into the UK natural fish market with the Naked & Natural range of uncoated frozen fish products but started withdrawing it last October following a "portfolio review". The company still offers natural fish products in some of its other European markets, such as the Iglo Del Mar range in Germany.

Birds Eye's research into natural fish comes as rival Findus said it wanted to focus increasingly on products that "play to the natural goodness of fish".

Stephen Taylor, group category director for Findus UK, also told the Humber Seafood Summit earlier this month that frozen fish needed to be made "more inspiring and accessible".