Tesco has delisted Seachill’s entire range of The Saucy Fish Company products, The Grocer understands.
Currently Tesco stocks a number of The Saucy Fish Company lines including salmon fillet with chilli, lime & ginger; smoked haddock with Davidstow Cheddar & chive sauce; smoked haddock & Davidstow Cheddar fishcakes; and salmon with a watercress & crème fraîche dressing.
The news is a surprise move and a strategic blow to brand owner Seachill, which launched Saucy Fish into Tesco in January 2010 initially on an exclusive basis.
Seachill – which is and remains a large own-label supplier of fish to Tesco – said it was disappointed but it respected Tesco’s decision. “Even after three years, The Saucy Fish Co has continued strong growth in Tesco at circa 52% in 2012 and the great thing is that 50% of this is genuinely incremental to total category sales through the attraction of new customers,” said Seachill sales and marketing director Simon Smith. Despite the Tesco delisting, the brand would still see sales growth in 2013, he added.
Tesco would not confirm the delisting but a spokeswoman said: “We do look at our ranges periodically throughout the year.”
Saucy Fish has grown rapidly since launching in Tesco and is currently stocked by Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Ocado, Budgens and Booths.
It is understood Tesco will stop selling Saucy Fish from next week and will replace the range with own-label products. “The new Tesco own-label products will undoubtedly do well, but the real opportunity lies in satisfying the needs of an even wider set of consumers offering both own-label and branded products,” added Smith.
Saucy Fish is one of a number of vibrant new brands that have been exclusive to Tesco for a period, such as Mu Cheddar (owned by Adams Foods); Yum butter, spread & soft cheese (supplied by Arla Foods); and Fresh & Naked unwashed salad (supplied by G’s Fresh); as well Tesco brands such as Yoo yoghurt and Chokablok ice cream.