Tesco’s efforts to shape shoppers’ choice of fish have been branded ineffective… in a report published by Sainsbury’s.

The study - dubbed Our Future of Fish - singled out Tesco as wielding the least influence over its shoppers’ choice of fish among the major retailers, despite selling the most fish.

Based on industry and Sainsbury’s data, as well as a survey of shoppers earlier this year, the report was commissioned by Sainsbury’s and compiled by trend analysts at the Future Foundation.

It claimed that of the big four supermarkets, consumers shopping mainly at Tesco for their fish were the least influenced by retailer campaigns or information. Morrisons and Asda both scored higher, while Sainsbury’s topped the poll for influencing its shoppers.

Tesco said its fishmongers were given training to offer advice and information on sustainably caught fish to customers.

“This approach is clearly working, as we’ve seen a huge 273% increase in sales of pouting, which our fishmongers actively promote as a sustainable and affordable alternative to cod,” said a spokesman.

The retailer had made over 40 different varieties of sustainably caught fish available in stores and they were proving popular with customers, he added.

TV chefs were found to wield far more influence than supermarkets over how consumers cooked and ate their fish. Government campaigns were deemed less influential even than the supermarkets.

The analysis suggested that a strong retailer commitment to influencing and educating customers about fish was starting to yield benefits and influence shopping behaviour, the report stated.

But the report said shoppers “did not always have the time available to weigh up all the information during a supermarket trip that must fit in with a hectic work and family schedule”.

The report predicted that UK adults would be eating 12 additional fish meals a year by 2030.

For more on sustainable fish, check this weekend’s edition.