sales of fish and chips are booming Published: 21 January, 2009
THE economy may be taking a battering – but sales of fish and chips are booming, according to the latest figures from Seafish.
The Seafood industry organisation says that sales of Britain’s favourite meal rose by £12-million to a record £717 million in the eight months to November 2008, the latest period for which statistics are available.
The number of customers visiting fried fish takeaways and restaurants is also rising with some 548 million visits (up by 3.5 per cent) over the same period.
While there has been no survey of the motives of customers, it is clear that the general public is now looking for ‘affordable priced’ meals – and fish and chips fits the bill perfectly. The UK has around 10,000 fried fish shops and many owners are now thinking of acquiring further outlets. The trade was badly hit last year by increased flour and potato prices, but while they have since fallen back gas and electricity costs have not come down yet.
The Seafish figures are borne out by increased activity at coastal fish markets where, weather permitting, supplies of cod and haddock, the two most popular fish shop species, have been good and demand strong. According to seafood supplier M&J Seafoods’ latest market report, prices for Icelandic, Scottish and Faroese cod and haddock continue to rise.
Seafish says fried fish shops are well placed to benefit from the economic changes because they provided value for money, news certain to please both fishermen and fish merchants.