British fish brand swims across the pond to Canada

The Saucy Fish Co.

British fish brand The Saucy Fish Co. has launched in Canada and is being sold in Loblaw’s various banners across the country.

Launched in 2010, the brand sells frozen and ready-to-eat fish with sauces in about 10 countries.

Saucy Fish is designed “to help people eat more fish be delivering both convenience and inspiration” by pairing fish “with the perfect sauce, says Simon Smith, CEO of The Saucy Fish Co. in Grimsby, England.

Research has found “people love to eat fish when they’re out, but probably cook it a little bit less in the home because they are not quite as confident with it.”

Smith says many fish companies approach the category “by thinking it’s all about the fish” when consumers actually want a dish.

“When they’re thinking about what they want to have for dinner tonight, it’s not just one element that goes on the plate that has to come together for them. Very often, the sauce is the glue that holds the dish together.”

The idea is help consumers overcome the barriers they might think exist in putting a great fish dish together, he says.

Saucy Fish has been available since Sept. 28 in 349 Loblaw stores, including Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Valu-Mart, Provigo, Dominion and Atlantic Superstore. In the U.S., it’s available at Whole Foods Market and Publix.

The brand is being launched in Canada with four frozen products including Aged Cheddar and Chive Sauce Smashing with Smoked Haddock and three ready to eat products, including Sticky Maple Sauce Sensational with Smoked and Roasted Atlantic Salmon Fillets.

Its benchmark price is $9.99 for two pieces but there will be promotions. The fish is priced about 20% higher than fresh fish available in stores without sauce.

Smith says Saucy Fish debuted with a strong first week of sales. He expects Canadian retail sales of more than $2 million within the first 18 months.

The brand has been tailored for the Canadian palate, with fish like smoked haddock and ready to eat salmon with maple syrup that should have “a degree of resonance” with Canadians.

Saucy Fish has launched a dedicated Facebook page and bilingual website for the Canadian market that promises “fish minus the fuss” that rescues fish fans “from a sea of blandness.” It’s also being promoted with tailored-displays and merchandising materials in-store

Saucy Fish has been named a CoolBrand, one of few food brands on the listing of the U.K.’s coolest brands. The brand is owned by Icelandic Seachill, which has $427 million in sales and about 1,400 employees.

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