Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

A bumper week of sales in alternative fish

Fish sales soar as celebrity chef campaign hits home

 

Supermarkets and fishmongers report a bumper week of sales in alternative fish like coley, pollack and mackerel after celebrity chefs team up to champion them

 

Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is leading a campaign to change Britain's fish eating habits 

Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is leading a campaign to change Britain’s fish eating habits
By Richard Tyler 18 Jan 2011 Daily Telegraph 

Billingsgate Market in London has said its 42 traders had seen a surge in demand following the launch of Channel 4’s Fish season last week, which saw chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay extolling the virtues of alternatives to cod, salmon and tuna like coley, Cornish pollack and mackerel.

Tesco, the country’s largest supermarket, said it had sold between 25pc and 45pc more “fresh sardines, coley, brown crab, whiting and sprats” compared to the previous week.

Marks & Spencer said it had its biggest ever week of fish sales, up 25pc on the same week last year, while Sainsbury’s said it had seen 12pc increase in pre-packed fish and a 7pc rise at its fish counters and in frozen fish. Pollock, an alternative to cod, was up 167pc, it said.

“We have managed to get our hands on more Dab than normal. It will influence what our buyer orders,” said a Sainsbury’s spokesman.

Independent fishmongers have also seen a spike in consumer demand and interest in the fish they are buying.

Steve Herbert, who with his brother Graham and their father William, runs W.J. Herbert & Sons on the Wood Green high street, north London, said: “It’s been a good week. Lots of people have been coming up asking about the TV show. There’s been a hell of a lot more coley sold. That had been dropping off.”

However, Mr Herbert said some alternatives like Monkfish and Turbot were too expensive for most customers and even mackerel had risen in price recently. “If the fish is too dear people will just not pay it,” he said.

Mr Herbert said they had seen one-off surges in demand, most notably during the BSE disease crisis that peaked in 1992, and he remained a realist. “We have seen a rise in sales after TV shows before and then it drops away,” he said.

Don Tyler, chairman of the London Fish Merchants Association and a big fan of sprats, said: “Retailers I have spoken to have had a very, very good week. There’s no doubt that the publicity has led the public to be more adventurous.”

He added: “We were very concerned about the publicity over fish getting thrown over board but the campaign has attracted favourable attention to the trade.”

Article reproduced courtesy of Daily Telegraph

Sun pun fun

Fish and Cheaps

By BEN JACKSON, Environment Editor, The Sun

Published: 18 Jan 2011

Fish sales have soared after celebrity chefs teamed up to urge Brits to enjoy a wider range of fish suppers.

Marks & Spencer yesterday reported their biggest ever week of fish sales, up 25 per cent on last year.

Tesco and Waitrose also reported strong sales and Sainsbury’s said sales of pollock are up 167 per cent and mackerel up 60 per cent following The Big Fish Fight series on C4.

Morrisons also saw sales of normally less well-known fish fly off the shelves. Sales are on the up across the board with mackerel and coley increasing by 62% and 393% respectively.

TV chefs Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Heston Blumenthal are backing the campaign to champion lesser known delicacies of the deep. Last night, Hugh’s online campaign calling on the EU to act to cut the vast number of dead fish being thrown overboard reached half a million signatures.

For complete article find your place in The Sun

Jamie joins Hugh on the Big Fish Fight

Extract courtesy of The Sun

Sales of sustainable seafood soar in UK supermarkets

The impact of Channel 4’s Big Fish Fight has started to hit as evinced by this article from The Guardian today:

Sales of sustainable seafood soar in UK supermarkets

Consumers choose coley, dab, mussels, squid and sardines after species were championed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s in Channel 4’s Fish Fight campaign

* Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent
* guardian.co.uk, Monday 17 January 2011 16.55 GMT

Sales of “alternative” species of fish and seafood have soared after being championed in Channel 4’s new Fish Fight campaign, the UK’s leading supermarkets reported today.

Consumers are favouring coley, dab, mussels, squid and sardines over the staple salmon, cod and tuna following the programmes last week, which highlighted the wasteful use of “discard” in fishing practices while encouraging shoppers to take the pressure off popular fish stocks by being more adventurous in what they eat.

The cook and Guardian writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, credited with boosting demand for higher-welfare chicken three years ago, has taken the lead in the new campaign. Programmes from fellow chef Jamie Oliver have shown consumers new ways of cooking less popular species such as mussels, squid and trout.

Sainsbury’s said sales of “bycatch” from its fresh fish counter had been “promising” overall, while sales of pollack had leapt by 167% week on week. It said customers had responded well to the fish featured in Jamie Oliver’s programmes with sales of British and MSC-certified mackerel up 60% and mussels up 16%.

Sales of its sustainable “line and pole caught” canned tuna increased by 17% over the last week, while sales of organic salmon grew by 16% and normal salmon sales remained unchanged.

Tesco, the UK’s biggest fish retailer, said it had seen an increase in sales of between 25 and 45% for fresh sardines, coley, brown crab, sprats and whiting in the week since the first programmes. It said in a statement: “We sell around 40 species of fish on our fresh counters and our staff are trained to advise customers on trying new varieties. Sales of fresh cod, herring, mussels, mackerel and canned tuna also increased compared to last week.”

But the supermarket was singled out by Fearnley-Whittingstall for misleading labelling on its canned tuna, leading the company to pledge to catch 100% of its own-brand canned tuna using the “pole and line” method. Tesco last week came fifth out of the major supermarkets in a 2011 league table of sustainable tuna, compiled by Greenpeace.

Waitrose said sales of seafood overall were up by 15% – with most of this increase being attributed to species that have traditionally been less popular. Sales of frozen coley were up by 36%, frozen mackerel up 31% and Dover sole up 163%. A spokeswoman for Waitrose said: “There has also been strong demand for dabs, which we sell frozen. This week we are launching sprats (a fish that has almost been forgotten by UK consumers) and are looking at introducing dabs and coley on our service counters over the coming weeks. We are also introducing Welsh flounder – a species commonly discarded.”

Ally Dingwall, aquaculture and fisheries manager at Sainsbury’s, said: “Fish Fight has had a direct impact on consumer behaviour. It’s encouraging to see a positive shift towards less popular and bycatch fish, and if we can establish continued demand, fishermen will land and sell more of these species, and it may potentially become targeted species. In the last week, our fish sales have risen across the board: from fresh to counter to frozen fish..”

Asda reported “really strong sales across the whole of the fish category in the last week, up 10% on the previous week” with particular growth in the sales of products included in Jamie Oliver’s recipes. Sales of trout fillets, for example, rose by 56%, whole sardines 66% and whole mackerel up by 115%.

Marks & Spencer said it had ordered in over a third more stock than it did for its peak Christmas week. Richard Luney, M&S fish expert, commented: “We had our biggest ever week in the history of M&S on fish sales last week, sales were up 25% versus this time last year. One of the key highlights was on our line–caught tuna that had a record week – so the importance of avoiding purse seined [a large net that catches entire schools of fish] fishing methods obviously really hit home.”

As part of the Fish Fight campaign, consumers have been urged to add their signatures to a letter to the European fisheries minister, Maria Damanaki, calling for the elimination of discards to be elevated to a top priority in the forthcoming review of the European common fisheries policy. Even before the programmes were aired, the letter attracted over 35,000 signatories but this has now risen to well over 500,000. Today, Fearnley-Whittingstall urged consumers: “Please keep spreading the word. Half a million supporters today – less than a week after our shows went out! I wonder if a million sign-ups is a crazy dream … what do you think?”

Article reproduced courtesy of The Guardian

Big Fish Fight Update

Sign-ups to the campaign now up to 211,051 – that’s 127,000 added in the under 24 hours since my last post.

Update 17.i.11:

Fish Fight crossed the Half A Million signups mark this morning – hooooorah!

Big Fish Fight

What a great way to start the new year of work, the multiplatform dimension of the Big Fish Fight, a short season of programmes focusing on saving our seas and consuming fish sustainably, powered by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s short series Hugh’s Fish Fight and incorporating programmes by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal.

The season has got off to a cracking start with
* 14,000 sign ups to Hugh’s Fish Fight (Discard) Campaign on the first night, now up to 41,500 within 24 hours – making a total to date of 83,972.
* 80 Fish & Chip Shops added to the MackMap, encouraging alternatives to cod & chips at our local chippers
* Trending #1 on UK Twitter on both nights so far
* over 3,000 people per night joining the Big Fish Fight Facebook campaign hub

The big win so far is Tesco’s changing their tuna sourcing/practices

To add your backing to the campaign sign up simply here

#1 on 11.1.11

#1 on 12.1.11

Illustration by George Butler for Channel 4’s Big Fish Fight online

Best of 2010

[this is a work in progress]

Fruitful collaboration

Film: (a poor year,  no real top-notch classics in live action)
1. Toy Story 3

2. The Town
Inception
The Kids Are Alright
True Grit
Tamara Drewe
Lebanon
The Secret in their Eyes
It’s a Wonderful Life (Christmas Eve at The Phoenix)

(The King’s Speech) [2011]

(2009 winner: Inglourious Basterds )

Actor:
Ben Affleck – The Town
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Jeff Bridges – True Grit
(2009 winner: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) )

Actress:
Julianne Moore – The Kids Are Alright
Annette Bening – The Kids Are Alright
Lesley Manville – Another Year
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
(2009 winner: Carey Mulligan (An Education) )

Supporting Actor:
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are Alright
(2009 winner: Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) )

Supporting Actress:
Rebecca Hall – The Town
(2009 winner: Kristin Scott Thomas (Nowhere Boy))

Director:
1. Ben Affleck – The Town
Samuel Maoz – Lebanon
(2009 winner: Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) )

Script:
The Social Network
(2009 winner: The Hangover)

TV:
The Trip (BBC2)

The Art of Cornwall (BBC4)

Gig:
Corinne Bailey Rae – Somerset House
Gil Scott Heron – Somerset House
Songwriters’ Circle recording at Bush Theatre, Shepherds Bush – Loudon Wainright, Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega
(2009 winner: Hothouse Flowers – Community hall, Baltimore, West Cork)

LP:
Praise & Blame – Tom Jones
I’m New Here – Gil Scott Heron
(2009 winner: Sea Sew – Lisa Hannigan)

Single:
What good am I? – Tom Jones
Laura Marling – Devil’s Spoke
(2009 winner: Glass – Bat for Lashes)

Book:
Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
A Crisis of Brilliance – David Haycock
(2009 winner: The Great Lover – Jill Dawson)

Art:
Paul Nash – The Elements – Dulwich Picture Gallery
(2009 winner: Dream – Jaume Plensa)

Play:
Jerusalem – Jez Butterworth with Mark Rylance (Apollo)

(2009 winner: August: Osage County (NT))

Sports event:
1. Spurs victory over Inter Milan at White Hart Lane with Gareth Bale on fire
Watching Saracens from the bench vs Leicester Tigers
(2009 winner: Ireland winning the 6 Nations)

Website:
?
(2009 winner: Posterous)

Saddest loss:
see Farewell 2010

Best of 2009

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