Sainsbury's to hold second 'Switch the Fish Day'


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 22, 2013

Sainsbury’s will hold its second “Switch the Fish Day,” set to give away 7 metric tons (MT) of lesser known British fish — lemon sole, mussels, Cornish sardines, coley fillets and loch trout fillets — to encourage customers to eat alternative species.

On Friday 25 February when a customer asks for one of the big five species — cod, haddock, tuna, salmon or prawns — they can try a lesser-known alternative for free.

The launch builds on the success of Sainsbury’s “Switch the Fish Day” in 2011 which saw fish sales up by 12 percent on the day. Following the campaign sales of alternatives increased with rainbow trout up 42 percent and coley up 11.4 percent, while 8 MT of megrim sold — a species that 85 percent of the population had never heard of before, according to Sainsbury’s research.

The Switch the Fish campaign launches alongside new research from Sainsbury’s which shows cookbooks aimed at families and children continue to encourage the consumption of the big five species. The research, which analyzed the top 25 children’s and family cookbooks in the U.K., shows that 78 percent of all fish recipes required one of the big five species. Across all fish recipes salmon was the most commonly featured fish (25 percent), followed by prawns (14 percent) and tuna (14 percent). Of the 22 percent of recipes which contained alternative species, mackerel came out on top, included in 5 percent of all fish recipes, followed by trout and seabass (2 percent each). Only three books across the whole sample contained messages about sustainability and the importance of using lesser-known species.

Sainsbury’s hopes that the Switch the Fish campaign will better help educate consumers about making sustainable choices. As part of Sainsbury’s commitment, 18,000 counters colleagues have gone through training at the Sainsbury’s food colleges.

“Sainsbury’s is committed to fishing responsibly and helping change UK fish eating habits.  We know our customers care about responsibly sourced food and this is a great opportunity for them to try some alternative British fish for free,” said Justin King, CEO. “This year Switch the Fish is set to be bigger, together with our colleague training and partnership with Fishermen’s Mission, we are working towards sustainable fish for the future.”

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