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The Saucy Fish Co.’s Simon Smith has fought off tough competition to be named Best Food Entrepreneur of the Year for 2014 by Investec.

Simon scooped the prize at the inaugural awards after impressing the judging panel with his role in turning the brand into a global force since it first launched in 2010. The panel was made up of well-known food entrepreneurs including Wynne Griffiths and Luke Johnson.

The last 12 months in particular has seen The Saucy Fish Co. come of age and be recognised with some major achievements, including:

Becoming the first fish brand to appear on the prestigious CoolBrands® list alongside the likes of Apple, Aston Martin and Rolex

Winning a high profile interim injunction against Aldi over the launch of their Saucy Fish Fillets.

Global expansion into the USA, Australia, Hong Kong and Switzerland

The last three months has seen particularly strong results for The Saucy Fish Co. with sales up 47.5% on the back of growth at Tesco, securing new listings at Waitrose and range expansions with the Co-Op and Ocado. In the same period there was a 64% increase in the number of shoppers buying The Saucy Fish Co. compared to this period in 2013.

This is part of a wider trend that has seen Saucy grow its share of branded chilled products over the last year by 3% to a total market share of 19.9%.

Shopper data has also shown that the brand is driving new people to the pre packed, chilled fish category. In the Co-Op 76% of people purchasing The Saucy Fish Co. in the last 12 weeks were new customers to the category, whilst in Waitrose the figure was 44%. This has resulted in 17% of growth for The Saucy Fish Co. coming from consumers who hadn’t previously bought from the category.

The Investec Food and Drink entrepreneur awards ceremony took place at the House of Commons where Simon beat a number of finalists to the award, including runner-up Charlie Bigham. The judges’ commented that “Simon showed boldness in seizing the territory of marketing fish - not always an easy product - in a fun, innovative and accessible way. Great growth in a short amount of time represents real focus and hard work.”

Simon Smith, Managing Director of Icelandic Seachill, said: “It was a great honour to be recognised by Investec. It’s been a great journey for The Saucy Fish Co. to see us stocked in most major supermarkets in the UK and expanding globally in just four years has been incredible.

“I’m fortunate to have a fantastic team who have helped Saucy to blaze a trail within the category, whilst staying true to our commitment to originality and quality.” Simon was recently appointed as Managing Director of Icelandic Seachill – the parent company of The Saucy Fish Co.

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