Surimi - the processed fish mixture used to make seafood sticks - could be headed for a premium makeover, thanks to a new range of products currently being pitched to supermarkets.
Own-label supplier Winterbotham Darby - which also owns the Unearthed brand - is trying to persuade buyers to stock two Spanish-made surimi products made with MSC-certified Alaskan pollock: fish rings made with surimi but formed to look like squid and fish sticks.
Whereas in the UK surimi was typically seen as “cheap and cheerful”, the Spanish surimi market was much more sophisticated and included premium options, said Unearthed founder Simon Day.
“These are very clean and high-end products,” he added.
The new surimi products are part of an eight-strong line-up of new seafood products that Winterbotham Darby is looking to add to its portfolio. Others include king prawn and chorizo pinchos, skewered king prawns with lime and coriander, Galician mussels in tomato sauce and Galician clams in white wine and garlic.
With the exception of the surimi sticks, all new seafood lines come in ready-to-microwave packs that ensure the protein heats slowly and does not overcook.