Fish and chip shops battle it out for survival


New foodservice industry figures show that Britain’s fish and chip shops saw a small 1.1% increase in total sales for the year ending September 2013.

Consumers are now spending an average of £3.20 per person each time they visit their local chippie, according to The NPD Group Inc.

It said that independent outlets selling fish and chips needed to offer quality and good prices if they are to beat off the fast food brands.

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‘Quality of food’ has increased in importance this year with 24% of fast food consumers saying this was a reason for choosing a particular place to eat, up from 23% last year. 29% of consumers cite ‘good price’ as a reason for choosing where to eat in the fast food market, up significantly from 10% in 2008.

Guy Fielding, director of business development for The NPD Group, said independent chippies needed to fight hard to compete with the might of the big chains in terms of promotions and overall marketing activity.

“Our chippies need to think ‘family’ and attract adults with their kids, offering real value rather than just cheap food at low prices,” he said. “But despite our love affair with fish and chips, survival isn’t guaranteed. Many of the chain competitors selling burgers and chicken directly over the counter are offering great family deals, something that is not replicated in the chip shop channel. You can feed a family for £12 at a fast food chain — can the same be said for the independent British chippie?”

Fast food has done well in the recession as people trade down to the cheaper channels when eating out.

The British fast food market, which NPD defines as takeaway food sold over the counter without waiter or waitress service, is now worth £11.4bn in Britain. It accounts for 23% of the total out-of-home eating industry, the company said.

Tags : catering equipmentchip shopfast foodfish and chip shopProductsresearch
Andrew Seymour

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