Seasoned fare

John West’s latest campaign focuses on encouraging consumers to “Discover the story behind every can”
John West’s latest campaign focuses on encouraging consumers to “Discover the story behind every can”

David Corscadden explains how Ireland’s fishing sector has prospered this year with investment and NPD helping to expand the industry into the future


Brand Central

13 June 2012

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  •  John West is the brand leader in the canned seafood market with a 67.5% value market share in the Republic of Ireland (Source: AC Nielsen scantrack ROI market, April 2012)
  • Birds Eye has continued its strong performance in the frozen fish category growing its share from 21% to over 26% over the past three years (AC Nielsen MAT 22nd April 2012)
  • Donegal Catch is Ireland’s number one frozen seafood brand (AC Nielsen Scantrack wk ending 22nd APR 2012)
  • Kilmore Quay’s Premium Seafood Sausages are created using 100% Irish, fully-traceable salmon and haddock

2012 has already been a year of growth and investment for seafood companies as well as overall for the seafood sector. With an export value of EUR*350 million, the fishing sector shows great signs for economic growth with job prospects on the horizon for many companies in Ireland. BIM estimates that in 2012 around 600 new jobs could be created within the industry.

Insist on the best!

John West has been leading the way in fish since 1857 with a high quality range of fish that includes tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines. John West is the brand leader in the canned seafood market with a 67.5% value market share in the Republic of Ireland (Source: AC Nielsen scantrack ROI market, April 2012).

The brand is always “at one with the sea” and demonstrates genuine fishing expertise. Product quality has always been the cornerstone of John West’s business and of its reputation among consumers; traceability and sustainability play a key role in order to retain that quality in the future.


John West’s latest campaign focuses on encouraging consumers to “Discover the story behind every can”. Designed to boost the brand’s sustainability credentials, the marketing campaign accompanies a website featuring a new initiative where consumers can trace the provenance of their tuna and find out where it was fished from, the species’ name and the name and picture of the boat.

Another initiative that demonstrates John West’s values and involvement within the fishing community is its partnership with the RNLI. John West is also the proud sponsor of the RNLI May Day.

John West is adding value by bringing convenient formats to busy consumers on the go. With John West pouches and John West Light Lunches, the brand has brought growth to the canned fish category. Light Lunches are up by +37% growth level in value year on year. Finally, the No Drain variants also offer convenience and good value to consumers who are able to avoid both the mess and the waste of liquid in the can – an ideal low fat snack that retains moisture, ideal to consume in the office, or on a summer picnic.

Sales growth for Birds Eye fish

Birds Eye has continued its strong performance in the frozen fish category growing its share from 21% to over 26% over the past three years*. This growth has been achieved by driving core products such as Birds Eye Fish Fingers, launching successful NPD such as the Birds Eye’s Bake to Perfection and re-launching into coated fish. The company’s push of its core products has proven successful with their consumer base showing that they value the company’s high quality products.

Birds Eye Fish Fingers continue to be Ireland’s best-selling fish fingers range with an overall market share of 74.8%*. In 2011 Birds Eye developed a massive on-pack marketing campaign across fish fingers and coated fish ranges including TV, online, radio and in-store activities. This hugely successful campaign enabled consumers to collect their very own Clarence Bear, a move that has proven popular with all ages as thousands of polar bears have been given a brand new home. Birds Eye will continue to support this category throughout the year within its teatime campaign, which features on TV. Birds Eye is the only brand advertising the fish fingers category.

Since its launch in October 2009, the Birds Eye Bake to Perfection range has continued its success with + 22% value share of the natural fish market* maintaining its reputation as one of the most successful NPD launches in frozen food over the last three years. Birds Eye Bake to Perfection is a range of tasty fish fillets and seafood varieties each complimented with the perfect sauce. Each variant comes with two individually wrapped portions and Birds Eye’s innovative packing technology “Bake Perfect bag” prevents the fish from drying out during the cooking process while preventing unwanted aromas. Birds Eye will continue to support the Bake to Perfection range throughout the year with a new heavyweight TV campaign.

Birds Eye is also re-launching the coated fish range in new impactful packaging making it easier to shop within the category. Birds Eye has teamed up with Harry Ramsden’s to deliver a great quality cod fillet wrapped in Harry Ramsden’s famous bubbly batter. Birds Eye Simply Breaded cod fish fillets, wrapped in nothing but a light and crunchy crumb, are ideal for the more health conscious consumer.

*(Source: Nielsen MAT 22nd April 2012).

Fresh thinking for dinner

Donegal Catch, Ireland’s number one frozen fish brand* may be synonymous with its breaded natural fillets range but the brand has a far wider array of convenient and healthy fish ranges. One popular example of the brand’s healthy alternatives is the Special Recipe range. The range is made from natural fish fillets that are marinated on a tempura base and in keeping with the company’s standards only the highest quality fish and ingredients are used to deliver high flavour in every mouthful. The products were developed with the consumer insight that people are looking for more choice in species of fish with more exciting and easier ways to cook and eat from a brand they know and trust.

The Special Recipe range has four variants available on the shelves; Tomato and Basil Hake, Lemon and Parsley Yellow Fin Sole, Lemon and Tarragon Cod Fillets and Lime and Coriander Sea Bass. With a diverse range of variants available the product caters for a growing market of consumers looking for healthy and tasty alternatives for midweek dinners. The range serves two people and is a perfect light meal with salad or rice dishes. The range is available nationwide in all major retailers with a RRSP of €4.49

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack wk ending 22nd APR 2012)

Irish sausages get a ‘healthy makeover’

A healthy and innovative alternative to the traditional Irish sausage is ‘making waves’ in the seafood sector. Launched just over two months ago, Kilmore Quay’s Premium Seafood Sausages are the very first of its kind in Ireland – gourmet sausages created using 100% Irish, fully-traceable salmon and haddock. The premium seafood product is already proving a hit with kids and their foodie, health-conscious mums and dads.

The sausages are low in fat, low in carbs, and provide the convenience and traditional appearance of regular pork sausages. Kilmore Quay’s new seafood sausages are the result of an extensive new product development scheme by well-known Co. Wexford seafood business, Atlantis Seafoods.

Atlantis Seafoods’ joint managing director, John Kenny, explains why the brand has had such a great response from consumers: “We firstly launched our Kilmore Quay seafood sausages in select Dunnes Stores, Tesco and SuperValu outlets across the South East and we’re quickly growing our national market presence. The brand has been thriving becoming particularly popular with families. Parents love the fact that our sausages are entirely natural, gluten-free and packed with Omega 3”.

Having transitioned from being a traditional seafood business and seafood wholesaler, Atlantis Seafoods’ Kilmore Quay label is designed to appeal to a contemporary target market that values quality and taste, as well as convenience. Mark O’Connor, joint managing director at Atlantis Seafoods, believes that the Kilmore Quay range impresses both consumers and retailers with its clear sense of innovation. “In the South East we have a wealth of fine seafood at our doorstop. Our haddock and salmon sausages are completely unique and have been launched as part of a concerted effort to create an exciting range of truly versatile, contemporary seafood”.

The Kilmore Quay range is a perfect example of how the Irish consumer market has become more adventurous with its food choices. The gourmet sausages offer a unique alternative to morning breakfast or a quick and easy main course served with wedges, dips or salsa and a side of salad or mushy peas.

Kilmore Quay’s range of premium dishes also includes: Hot Smoked Trout, Surf ‘n’ Turf (Smoked Scallops & Black pudding) and Seafood Trio (Smoked Scallops, Haddock, & Trout).

Firms invest €15.5m in seafood processing sector

It was announced by the Minister for Marine Simon Coveney that 140 jobs will be created in the seafood processing industry. The jobs will be created following 21 companies making an investment of €15.5 million within the sector. It is expected that the firms, based in Wexford, Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Louth and Kerry, have the capability to increase sales of within the sector by approximately €44 million by 2015. The investment has been supported by grants of €3.2 million from the EU co-funded Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme.

Mr Coveney commented on the investment: “This is a sizeable investment by any standards and particularly so when combined with investment under this scheme over the past two years. It demonstrates a confidence in the seafood sector as a high growth area of our economy and of our food industry."

The companies involved were praised by Mr Coveney as he continued: "The new investment involves companies significantly growing their businesses and also diversifying, which will lead to increased profitability and increased employment. The number of companies participating in the scheme demonstrates the willingness of the sector to invest to meet the strong global demand for our seafood."

The news of this investment in the seafood industry highlights the growth and prospect of an industry which continues to see success and development when many other sectors experience downscaling and losses.



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