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Who: Waitrose

What: Asian Fusion Herb Battered Hake

Where: Chilled fish

When: Launched April 2014

How much: £3.99/300g

Why: Waitrose introduced 15 new fusion lines at the end of April from countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, designed to be quick and easy to prepare. Among the line-up is this hake - a fusion of Chinese and Malay cuisine described by Waitrose as “a vibrant and zesty hake fillet in a crispy batter with a sweet ginger and lemongrass dressing, peppers and mange tout.”

Consumer verdict: The pack generated limited pre-trial interest, with respondents describing it as “bland.” Views were polarised after sampling, with almost equal numbers either enjoying the “crispy” coating, “wonderful” aroma and spiciness; or being less impressed and finding it “too dark” or “dry with too many bones.” Slightly more acceptable among ABC1s and the over-55s, this dish impressed enough testers to more than double purchase interest post trial. One in five claimed they would buy regularly, while a similar proportion maintained it simply wasn’t for them.

Pre-trial purchase: 22%

Post-trial purchase: 47%

Better than what’s out there: 57%

New and different: 85%

Overall score: 36/50


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Fast Foodfax is prepared by Cambridge Market Research , which works closely with The Grocer magazine on a variety of projects including the consumer judging element of the The Grocer’s Own-label Food & Drink Awards and New Product Awards.
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