Revenues from fish finger sales have also fallen, by 4.1 per cent to £123.6 million, according to Kantar, the market research specialist.
Birds Eye, famed for its Captain Birds Eye mascot, blamed the slump on comparisons with an “exceptional” year in 2012. The company added that Mums were trading down to smaller packs to help manage the family finances.
Birds Eye launched the fish finger in 1955 at a Brighton sales conference, 30 years after the American version, the ‘fish stick’ was invented in Massachusetts.
The past year has seen strong sales of chilled fish, in part due to the success of new brands such as the Saucy Fish Company, which launched in 2010. The company sells a number of products combining fish with speciality sauces such as salmon with sunblushed tomato dressing.