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Fish and Chips Sales Rise in Economic Slump

UK - According to figures released by Seafish, the authority on seafood, fish and chip shops throughout the UK have seen an increase in customers and sales for the first time in five years as more people choose to save money and spend the evening at home with a takeaway.

According to the NPD Crest statistics, the number of people going to fast-food restaurants rose by 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the previous year. This suggests that rather than eating out in restaurants, customers are turning to the nation’s favourite - fish and chips - and eating the dish at home.

"Fish and chips is in a strong position, offering a nutritious meal that won’t break the bank"
Andy Gray from Seafish

As chippies reap some benefit from the economic downturn, mid-market eateries are facing an uncertain future. One in every 100 pounds spent on food is in a fish and chip shop, equating to more than 276 million meals of fish and chips sold every year from almost 10,500 shops.

Andy Gray from Seafish, a judge in the Fish & Chip Shop of the Year competition, said: “At a time when eating out is more expensive, people still want to treat themselves and the trend we are experiencing is that customers are turning to takeaway options such as fish and chips.

“The current financial climate is undeniably tougher across the board but in terms of value for money, fish and chips is in a strong position, offering a nutritious meal that won’t break the bank.”

This report follows the launch of the Fish & Chip Shop of the Year Competition 2008. Now in its 21st year, the competition has seen the fish and chips industry flourish over the past two decades, raising standards throughout the UK and driving an increase in takeaway sales.

Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, a big fan of fish and chips, kicked off the competition. He said: “Fish and chips have gone from strength to strength in recent years. This great British staple offers terrific value for money and a real feel good factor as you tuck in. Fans of fish and chips have been really spoilt by the choice and high standards of the UK’s best shops.”