Daily Mail

Never mind the cod ... now we want pollock with our chips

- By Sean Poulter

FRIDAY nights may never be the same again – with traditiona­l cod and chips under threat as sales of the fish are overtaken by pollock for the first time.

Meanwhile, Alaska pollock is on course to replace salmon as the nation’s favourite overall fish as the cost of living crisis bites, according to industry figures.

With a 300g pack of ten cod fish fingers costing £3, the equivalent pollock version comes in at just £1.75.

The high price of cod has been a disaster for the nation’s chippies, who are also battling against big increases in other staples, including mushy peas, cooking oil and energy.

Industry figures show that UK sales of cod in the 12 months to January were some 55,400 metric tons, putting them behind Alaska pollock for the first time, which hit sales of 56,199t.

The figure for salmon was 58,200t, but based on trends, that will be surpassed by pollock by the end of next year. Details of the shift in eating habits came from Andrew Allchurch, procuremen­t director at Young’s Seafood’s parent company Sofina, who was speaking this week at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen, Norway.

He said: ‘The cost of living crisis has seen a boost for pollock products.

‘Cod is certainly not the most expensive species in the UK, but we are in a cost of living crisis and shoppers are looking from better value.’ He added: ‘Total whitefish has been entirely supported by the growth of Alaska Pollock. Cod, in particular, is seeing significan­t year-on-year volume declines.’

The former Waitrose executive said sales of frozen cod were falling sharply, with battered fillets down 19 per cent, breaded fillets down 17 per cent and cod fish fingers by 20 per cent.

Mr Allchurch told Undercurre­nt News the industry needs to move away from the traditiona­l view of eating big cod fillets covered in batter or breadcrumb­s, arguing that younger shoppers tended to prefer bite-sized portions.

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