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24 December 2020

Best fish fingers

Whether you’re partial to a fish finger sandwich, or love them with chips and peas, find out how popular offerings from Birds Eye and Young's compare with own brands
Fish fingers, chips and mayo on a plate
Hollie Hennessy

Captain Birds Eye might be the face of fish fingers that we know and love, but we’ve put this big brand up against rival seafood brand Young’s and nine supermarkets to find out which should be your new family favourite.

In February 2020, our tasters tucked into cod fish fingers from the two leading brands alongside popular supermarket own-brands, including Aldi, Asda, M&S and Tesco. They rated them on looks, aroma, taste and texture.

This guide will help you decide whether it’s worth sticking with the household names, or just opting for the fish fingers available at your local supermarket.

The best fish fingers

Only logged-in Which? members can view the fish finger test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the fish fingers we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our test scores and Best Buy recommendation below.

All fish finger prices correct as of February 2020.

Join Which? to unlock the result of our test.

Aldi Northern Catch 10 Cod Fish Fingers

50p per 100g

Buying budget-brand Aldi’s fish fingers could save you almost a third per 100g compared with Birds Eye (£1.49 rather than £2 for a pack of 10). But does paying less mean you have to compromise?

Join Which? to unlock the result of our test.

Asda 10 Cod Fillet Fish Fingers

67p per 100g

Asda’s fish fingers had one of the best coatings of those tasted, according to our testers. Find out whether they impressed when it came to taste, aroma and appearance.

Join Which? to unlock the result of our test.

Birds Eye 10 Cod Fish Fingers

71p per 100g 

Birds Eye might be the most well-known fish fingers, but how tasty are they compared with supermarket alternatives?

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Waitrose Essential 10 Cod Fish Fingers

62p per 100g

Waitrose fish fingers didn't look as good as some of the others we tasted, but are they yummy enough to let this slide?

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Iceland 10 Cod Fillet Fish Fingers

53p per 100g

Iceland is known as a frozen food specialist, but how good are its fish fingers compared with other supermarkets and the big brands?

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Lidl Ocean Sea 10 Cod Fish Fingers

50p per 100g

Lidl’s fish fingers match Aldi's for price per 100g, but how do the two compare when it comes to taste?

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M&S Simply 9 Chunky Breaded Cod Fish Fingers

70p per 100g

M&S Chunky Breaded Cod Fish Fingers are slightly bigger than its rivals. But is it a case of size over substance, or is big really better?

Morrisons 20 Breaded Cod Fish Fingers

53p per 100g

Morrisons says its fish fingers cook from frozen in just 14 minutes, but are they worth the short wait?

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Tesco 10 Cod Fish Fingers

67p per 100g

Tesco 10 Cod Fish Fingers were the highest in fat out of all on test. Find out whether they have a good enough taste to make them worth the indulgence. 

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Sainsbury's 12 Breaded Cod Fillet Fish Fingers

58p per 100g

Sainsbury’s fish fingers were some of the cheapest per 100g of those we tasted, and were just behind Aldi and Lidl on price. If you’re shopping on a budget, which is best?

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Young's 10 Cod Fish Fingers

70p per 100g

Young's fish fingers are almost as well-known as Bird's Eye and the brand calls itself ‘masters of fish’. But are its fish fingers masterful? 

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Fish finger sandwiches

Fish finger sandwiches are a British staple. How do you eat yours?

Mayo or tartare sauce lover? Or do you prefer a dollop of ketchup in your sarnie? Let us know your favourite and check out our taste test results on tomato ketchup and mayonnaise.

Fish finger sandwich saving

If your family eats three fish fingers per sandwich and you each eat one fish finger sandwich a week for a year, you could save £81.13 per year by switching from the most expensive brand per fish finger we tested to Aldi.. 

It's also worth bearing in mind that not all fish fingers are the same size and weight. Our Best Buy M&S fish fingers are about 40g per finger, whereas others, such as Young's and Birds Eye, are 25g and 28g respectively. So choose wisely depending on your budget and how hungry you are. 

Calories in fish fingers

If the calories in fish fingers are an issue for you, it's worth knowing that most of the fish fingers we tested are around the 200 calorie mark (per 100g), but Sainsbury’s fish fingers contained the lowest calories of those on test - only 188 calories per 100g.

Tesco and Lidl fish fingers had the highest calorie count of those we tested - 232 and 243 calories per 100g, respectively.

The fish fingers on test had between 7.7g (Asda) and 11.6g of fat (Tesco) per 100g. 

Young's and Aldi had the highest amount of saturated fat of those we tested at 1.1g per 100g. Best Buy Birds Eye was the lowest in saturated fat of those we tested, with 0.6g per 100g.

lt's worth knowing that even those fish fingers we tested that have the most fat would be rated as an amber traffic light for fat on packaging. 

All of the fish fingers we tested are classed as low in saturated fat, with 1.5g or less per 100g.

Do different fish fingers contain different amounts of fish?

The fish content varied a little between brands. Of those we tested, Birds Eye and Young's had the least amount: 58% cod, compared with the rest which had between 62% and 65%. 

Our tests have shown that more fish doesn't necessarily lead to a tastier fish finger. 

Fish finger lasagne

Last summer Birds Eye's controversial fish finger lasagne recipe sent social media into a frenzy. The carb-heavy recipe sparked a debate and people were decidedly divided on whether the meal looked appetising, or just plain wrong.

Fancy trying it out? Head over to the recipe here.

How we test fish fingers

The fish fingers were assessed  by a large panel of people who regularly buy and consume fish fingers.

The make-up of the panel broadly reflects the demographic profile of adults in the UK.

Each brand was assessed by 60 people.

The panelists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each fish finger, and told us which one they preferred overall.

The taste test was blind, so the panelists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the fish fingers in was fully rotated to avoid any bias.

Each panelist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.

The overall score is based on:

  • 50% taste
  • 20% texture
  • 15% appearance
  • 15% aroma