Young’s Seafood launches first hot smoked sea bass product to UK market

Young’s Seafood has introduced an all new product to its chilled range with the launch of its ‘Hot Smoked Sea Bass’ into Waitrose stores under the Hooked brand, the first hot smoked product of its kind in the UK retail market.

The product was developed as Young’s has seen sea bass increase in popularity amongst chilled shoppers with its light, fresh taste appealing to a wide audience. However, fans of sea bass have been limited to just raw formats of the fish, while many other species come in ready to eat options. Young’s saw an opportunity to create a product for the chilled category which broke down traditional barriers to entry in smoked fish.

The sea bass is smoked using oak wood to give it a light, nutty flavour, while retaining the light taste of sea bass.

Covid-19 has resulted in chilled ranges seeing growth in value sales by 14% year on year, as, during lockdown, the category has reportedly attracted shoppers who were trying to recreate restaurant-style meals at home using high-quality fresh fish.

Caroline Stanway, buyer at Waitrose, said: “Sea bass is one of the favourite fish species for our shoppers so we are really pleased to have introduced this hot smoked alternative into our stores, giving our customers a new option for summer eating.”

Philip White, commercial manager at Young’s, said: “We really wanted to open up the chilled market to a broader range of shoppers, some of whom may have rejected smoked fish products previously, driven by uncertainty of how to prepare them or the strong flavours associated with the ‘oily fish’ species which are traditionally smoked, such as salmon, mackerel and trout. This hot smoked alternative needs no further cooking, has a lighter smoked flavour and little to no smell.

“Investment into NPD at Young’s is a key priority for us as we continue to drive the market across chilled and frozen, and this latest launch is another great demonstration of our industry-leading innovation.”

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