‘Fishmonger’s Choice’ Sainsbury’s New Fish Private Brand ‘Lands’

Earlier this month a new private brand fresh fish offering lands in British retailer Sainsbury’s, in a bid to tempt customers to try alternative British fish species, all of which are wild-caught off the South West coast. ‘Fishmonger’s Choice’ includes lesser-known fresh British species such as Whiting, Monkfish and Dover Sole, available in over 200 stores nationwide from November.

The species available will vary according to the seasons, offering customers new species throughout the year, when they’re at their best – and most abundant. Monkfish and Dover Sole available all year round, while an underrated member of the cod family, Whiting, has a shorter season of only November and December. From 2018, the range will include British Pollack followed by Hake and Ling, later in the year.

With the most Brits sticking to the Big Five fish species (the five species of fish and seafood most commonly eaten in the UK are Cod, Haddock, Salmon, Tuna & Prawns), it’s clear there’s a ‘fear factor’ of trying new species. Insights from Sainsbury’s indicate this is mainly down to not knowing how to prepare the fish. The new labeling used in the Fishmonger’s Choice range offers helpful tips on pack, such as “Cook me like cod” – for the Whiting Fillets – and “Cook me like prawns” – in the case of Monkfish.

Ally Dingwall, Sainsbury’s Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager says: “Fish consumption in the UK is still concentrated on the Big Five – they make up around 70% of our volume sales. So we’ve launched this new range to help shift perception of lesser-known species. It’s about making fresh, seasonal, British fish readily available to customers and offering more approachable formats of species like Whiting and Monkfish so that they can purchase and prepare it with confidence. Our recent work on Cornish Sardines is evidence of where this has already encouraged customers to broaden their horizons.”

The new Fishmongers Choice range is available in 210 stores from Wednesday 1st November, with seasonal species sold at catchweight:

  • Fishmonger’s Choice Dover Sole on the Bone (available all year) £26/kg
  • Fishmonger’s Choice Monkfish Fillets (available all year) £33/kg
  • Fishmonger’s Choice Whiting Fillets (available whilst in season) £11.50/kg


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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.