On this day in history : 26th September 1955 – Birds Eye launches one of the most famous of its products – the frozen fish finger….

Birds Eye fish fingers (1956) – Bradford Timeline via Flickr

After World War 2 there was an abundance of herrings in the UK – and after sampling ‘herring savouries’ in the United States Clarence Birdseye wondered if there could be a market for herring fish fingers in Britain…. A test was conducted; shoppers in Southampton and South Wales were asked to try the herring fish fingers and compare them to a blander alternative – cod…. Much to the surprise of Birdseye the public overwhelmingly preferred the taste of the cod variety….

The fish finger we know and love was launched at the Brighton Sales Conference in the Autumn of 1955 – it retailed at an introductory price of 1s 6d a pack…. Each finger came individually wrapped in a waxed film, then packaged in a wax coated carton…. In the first year the British public got through some 600 tonnes of fish fingers! Nowadays more than 1.5 million are sold on a daily basis….

Hazel Nicholson via Flickr

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