Fish Tales debuts in U.K. retail with Waitrose placement

Published on
January 15, 2015

New Netherlands-based sustainable seafood brand Fish Tales has expanded into the U.K. market by launching into Waitrose stores.

Initially, the retailer is selling five products from Fish Tales’ canned range, comprising pink salmon, anchovies, smoked mussels, French fish soup and albacore tuna from the American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA). The offering will be expanded in the first week of March with the addition of the brand’s full range of products that utilize pole-and-line caught tuna from the Maldives.

Every product being sold is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified.

“Working together with our U.K. agent World Wise Foods, we are looking to develop the market and Waitrose is our first partner,” said Bart van Olphen, founder of Fish Tales. “It is a market that appeals to us because we believe that when it comes to retail, U.K. consumers are further down the line than some other countries in terms of their awareness of sustainability issues. We feel that will lead them to appreciate our brand and what it is trying to achieve.”

Fish Tales was launched in January 2014. The brand name was the name of van Olphen’s first book, co-authored with U.K. celebrity chef Tom Kime, that told the stories and provided recipes from MSC-certified fisheries around the world.

From April last year, the Fish Tales range began appearing in Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn. A month later, they were also available in Switzerland through Coop stores. In foodservice, Fish Tales products appear on KLM Airlines’ menus, at the Deli2Go fresh sandwich outlets at Shell petrol stations, and also at the Bagels & Beans restaurant chain.

Van Olphen told SeafoodSource that the company is working on launches in Denmark and Germany, but for the time being it is “extremely focused on doing all it can to build its profile in the U.K. market.”

This work will be supported by the U.K. release of his latest book, “Cooking with Tinned Seafood,” in March.

In the Netherlands, the book has been well received and is currently on its fourth print run in three months.

Talks are also ongoing with WWF to establish a Fish Tales Foundation, whereby a proportion of Fish Tales’ profits will go toward funding sustainable fisheries in developing countries that are keen to pursue MSC-certification but don’t have access to sufficient funding.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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