John West makes canned fish look 10 years younger

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By Lorraine Mullaney
John West’s innovation team has been working on a makeover to broaden the appeal of the firm’s canned mackerel and sardine products among young and lapsed consumers.

As a result, the fish brand will launch three new products this month: Steam Cooked Mackerel Fillets in 'natural oils' with no brine; Grilled Sardines with no brine or oil; and Peri Peri Sardines, which aim to tap into the 'younger' spicy sauce trend.

John West is claiming two world firsts: for canning mackerel without a lot of oil or brine and sardines with no oil or brine. This gave the innovation team the challenge of preventing the oxidation of fats, which it achieved by using the technology it took 18 months to develop for its 'no drain' tuna range.

For the grilled sardines, it had to develop a process that would continuously grill sardines on both sides without breaking them.

John West product manager Katarina Aikio, said: "The Peri Peri Grilled Sardines are designed in particular to appeal to the younger consumer. The product adheres to the current trend for spicy foods among young consumers and we chose to use Peri Peri flavouring, which is very popular and well-known to this age group. By using bright and funky packaging for this product we aim to catch the younger consumer's eye when shopping."

Related topics: NPD, Seafood

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