29th July 2021
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.
Only 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. now to get instant access to our test scores and Best Buy recommendation below.
All fish finger prices correct as of February 2020.
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?
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.
71p per 100g
Birds Eye might be the most well-known fish fingers, but how tasty are they compared with supermarket alternatives?
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?
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?
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?
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?
53p per 100g
Morrisons says its fish fingers cook from frozen in just 14 minutes, but are they worth the short wait?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: