‘Spider Crab’ vs ‘Cornish Crab’: seafood rebrand makes Brits more likely to say they would eat it

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
February 16, 2021, 3:24 PM UTC

YouGov asks Britons which kinds of seafoods they would be likely to eat if offered

Fisheries in Cornwall have renamed some less popular seafoods in an effort to make them more plateable to Britons, following post-Brexit difficulties selling to the EU.

Megrim Sole, which is set to become Cornish Sole, and Spider Crab (now Cornish King Crab) are popular exports to EU but have not previously sold well in Britain – could a new name really make a difference?

YouGov conducted a test asking Britons how likely they would be to eat different seafoods, showing half of the respondents “Cornish Sole” and “Cornish Crab”, and the other half “Megrim Sole” and “Spider Crab“. The results show that the simple name change does make the two seafoods more palatable to Brits.

Overall, 73% of Britons who eat seafood say they would be likely to eat Cornish Sole if offered, including 38% who said they would be “very likely” to do so. However only 49% said they would likely to eat Megrim Sole – a total of 24pts lower than the Cornish name – including only 17% who would be “very likely” to eat the fish under its original name.

For the crab, two thirds (66%) of Britons who eat seafood saying they would likely eat Cornish Crab if offered to them, including 36% who are “very likely” to do so. When asked under the food’s original name, only 49% said they would be likely to eat Spider Crab if offered, 16pts less than the Cornish-named Crab.

The main effect of the rebrand seems to be in bringing seafood eaters off the fence, with the rebranded names largely reducing the number of people who say they “don’t’ know” whether they would eat the food (although there are also small reductions in the number who say wouldn’t have been likely to eat them). Rebadging Megrim Sole brings the number of don’t knows down from 25% to just 8%. Likewise, making the change from Spider Crab to Cornish Crab reduces the unsure figure from 15% to 6%.

While appetite for the Cornish Crab is fairly consistent among people of different ages, Britons over 55 are the most likely to say they would eat Cornish Sole (81%) compared to 56% who would likely try Megrim Sole. Only 51% of 18-24 year olds are likely to try Cornish Sole and just 34% say the same for Megrim Sole.

See full results here