The 'Donegal Catch' conundrum

Say, are you familiar with the Donegal Catch brand from Northern Foods? Of course you are, they have a 59% share of the frozen fish market here in Ireland.

Tell me, what does the name 'Donegal Catch' suggest to you? The clues are in the words 'Donegal' and 'Catch.'

It sounds to me like someone 'caught' a fish in 'Donegal,' then froze it, and sold it in the supermarket. Simple enough?

The packet even says that the name 'Donegal Catch' is your guarantee that you're buying only the finest fish [quote] 'from the deep and cold waters of the Atlantic,' [unquote].

But what are we to make of the fine print on the Donegal Catch foil packet? The small bit of text that admits that the packet contains farmed fish from many countries of origin, including Chile.

If I may be a bit dense for a moment, how does one reasonably expect to 'catch' a 'Donegal' (Atlantic) fish, while it resides in a 'farm' in Chile (Pacific)?

I'll admit that because of purposefully confusing terminology, 'Atlantic salmon and cod' the species of fish (see also: 'French toast'), can be ocean-farmed on the Pacific coasts of both Chile and Canada.

But the label actually mentions the 'waters of the Atlantic.' Surely that can't refer to a fish that merely shares the 'Atlantic' name.

Add that to the bizarre claim that farmed fish is somehow 'caught'?

You may remember that the Green Isle company (part of Northern Foods, HQ in Leeds) recently shut up shop in Boyle, and moved the business to the U.K. in order to 'ensure the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the business and the company's 'Donegal Catch' brand.'

To sum up, 'Donegal Catch' is a brand, and in purely brand terms, the term 'Donegal…' no longer refers to the actual place Donegal, and the word '…Catch' no longer refers to the well-known verb which describes the act of 'catching.'

It is now just an utterly meaningless and abstract collection of letters, like Nike, Coca-Cola and Andrex.

I wonder if this will lead to the brand 'Ballygowan Irish Spring Water' becoming a Filipino drain cleaner?

And what's all this malarkey about then?


It makes you wonder what this guy's brilliant idea was. Move to South America and tell no one?

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