Young's Seafood has been praised by rivals for injecting some much needed value into the frozen fish category with its new Jamie Oliver range.

The 12-strong line-up, which hits shelves next month, is Oliver's first major retail ­initiative since news broke that he is to end his 11-year tie-up with Sainsbury's ­after filming a final Christmas ad.

Competitors said the range, which comprises five twin-pack fishcake lines; three mini fishcake variants; three fish pies and fish fingers (all rsp: £1.99), would help combat commoditisation in the category. "It's good for frozen fish that we have quality propositions being put out by competitors," said Martin Glenn, Birds Eye Iglo Group CEO. "We hope they advertise it hard."

Frozen fish was becoming more popular with consumers, but there was still a dearth of quality in the category, he admitted.

This was reflected in the fact that although frozen fish's market share had grown 3% while fresh's had slipped 5% since 2006, retail prices of frozen had only increased 15% in 11 years compared with 50% for fresh.

"This is due to a combination of uptrading in fresh and commoditisation in frozen," said Glenn.

"That's the challenge. So well done Chris Britton. Premiumisation of frozen is a good thing. We love it!"

Another seafood supplier described it as "very positive that Oliver is confident enough in the seafood industry to link his reputation with a major brand."

Young's marketing director Natasha Gladman added: "It was a natural meeting of minds working with Jamie and we're delighted with the results. We've been driven by our shared passion for fish stocks for the future and improving the nation's diet."

Species in the range include wild MSC-certified Alaska salmon and pollock, and Scottish-landed North Sea whiting. The launch will be supported by print ads, PR and social and digital media campaigns.

Oliver recently appeared on Hugh's Fish Fight promoting the use of sustainable fish.