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JCS Fish A bold new splash in the frozen fish category

Optima re-invented the look and feel of the signature BigFish™ frozen range from Grimsby producer JCS Fish.


A new vision for premium – sustainability with a story

JCS Fish launched the BigFish™ range of frozen, marinated salmon fillets in 2009. It was positioned as a premium salmon product, easy to prepare and cook straight from the freezer. The fish range was popular among independent retailers and farm shops and was listed with Ocado. 

JCS Fish approached Optima to help them move to a more sustainable packaging format for the brand, moving away from the dual polymer plastic outer bags that had formerly been its trademark. A more environmentally-friendly, recyclable solution was required across its full 14-product range. This provided the opportunity for a significant brand update in the process – a creative challenge we wholeheartedly embraced! 


  • Brand identity
  • Illustration
  • Packaging


  • Food and drink

60% Reduction in plastic use

150% Upturn in online sales

+Customers New listings including Mindful Chef

Optima completely re-imagined the BigFish™ brand identity to reflect a family company passionate about its fish products, the sustainability of the fishing industry and the environment. We did this whilst retaining the existing logo for consistency and recognition.

Our new design for the range uses hand-drawn illustrations and typography surrounding a genuine vintage photograph of the company's founder, Andrew Coulbeck, from the 1980s. Andrew and his wife Louise were born and bred in Grimsby, Britain's seafood town, from generations of fish experts. We made Andrew (and the big fish) the brand emblem, placing importance on the family at the heart of this independent business. On some product packaging, the fish Andrew holds becomes the aperture through which the product is visible. 

The family business is passionate about promoting the health benefits of eating oily fish like salmon as part of a balanced diet. It is dedicated to making products that make it as easy to prepare and cook as possible. The illustrated elements of the brand identity were hand-drawn around Andrew's image and included details reflecting their Grimsby heritage, including the dock tower. The drawn type details product features and attributes, including the health benefits of each product.


We commend JCS Fish for completely embracing this re-invention of their established BigFish™ brand. The new designs were a massive departure from the look and feel of previous packaging and a brave step forward. 

The range colours catch the eye and have real freezer presence and the pack designs promote the uniqueness of the BigFish™ brand effectively.

Quote marks

The redesign and relaunch of BigFish™ has been instrumental in stimulating our brand at a particularly difficult time in the history of our business.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been tough, our new cheerful and eye-catching packaging design has supported continued brand growth for BigFish™, particularly in the online environment. Plus, the recyclability of our new packaging has been well received and opens doors to better conversations with new potential customers, particularly those with a strong ‘responsible business’ ethos, such as Mindful Chef, which now takes our branded salmon for its meal delivery solutions. Overall, we are delighted with this confident new packaging format, which tells the right story for our brand and our family business.

Louise Coulbeck

Co-founder and Director, JCS Fish


Additional variations and adaptations of the original pack have since been designed. These include fresh fillet pack sleeves exclusively for Mindful Chef, and the more stripped-back premium oak smoked salmon and loch trout packs.