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Shoppers Continue To Switch The Fish

by the Fish Site Editor
08 August 2011, at 1:00am

UK - Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has sold an additional 46 tonnes of alternative fish species following national Switch the Fish campaign, with nectar card data showing that over half of the Switch the Fish customers have since returned to the fish counter.

With the latest instalment of Channel Four's Fish Fight airing tomorrow, Sainsbury's reveals it has sold 46 extra tonnes of alternative fish varieties such as coley, pouting, rainbow trout, hake and megrim following the launch of its successful Switch the Fish campaign in June this year.

On 17 June, in a UK first, Sainsbury shoppers asking for one of the 'Big 5' species were offered a free alternative from its fish counters. The Switch the Fish campaign had an immediate impact and the supermarket saw a sales increase of 12 per cent across its fish counters compared to the previous week.

Of the customers who took advantage of the free sample offer, 29.4 per cent hadn't bought fresh counter fish in the last six months.

Interestingly over three quarters of customers had not previously purchased the alternative species but Sainsbury's has since seen sales of coley rise by 11.4 per cent and rainbow trout rise by 42 per cent.

The supermarket has sold eight tonnes of megrim since it was introduced during the campaign, a fish 85 per cent of the population had never heard of before the campaign. An online how to' Jamie Oliver recipe for megrim was the most viewed throughout the campaign, receiving over 15,000 hits.

Justin King, Sainsbury's CEO said: "The success of our Switch the Fish campaign shows that, when customers are offered choice on the issue of sustainability, they are willing to try alternatives and help alleviate pressure on fish stocks. Retailers play a vital role in helping consumers make sustainable choices and I am proud that Sainsbury's continues to lead the industry in this way."

As part of the campaign, Sainsbury's launched the Switch the Fish van which visited cities and stores up and down the country encouraging thousands of members of the public to sample alternative species and learn more about sustainable fish sourcing.

Sainsbury's Switch the Fish campaign was supported by a number of influential industry figures including Richard Benyon, Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, and Greenpeace.

Willie MacKenzie, Greenpeace, said: "Sainsbury's has really stepped up to the plate with its Switch the Fish campaign to get the UK to be a bit more adventurous when it comes to eating fish, which helps spread the burden of our fish-eating. I mean why not have coley instead of cod?"

the Fish Site Editor