U.K. Chippies Prosper Despite Economic Climate
By SeafoodSource staff
22 January, 2009
The Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife, Scotland, was named the United Kingdom's 2008 Fish & Chip Shop of the Year today.
The announcement comes as sales at the U.K.'s 9,500 fish n' chip shops increased 1.7 percent, to £717 million ($988.7 million), last year, despite an unfavorable economic climate, according to figures Seafish (the Sea Fish Industry Authority) and NPD Crest released on Tuesday.
Through the first eight months of 2008, the number of visits to fish n' chips shops topped 548 million, up 3 percent from 2007.
The figures suggest that U.K. consumers are opting for value at takeaway restaurants rather than dining out at sit-down restaurants. Seafish expects sales at fish n' chip shops, or chippies, to continue to grow in the coming months.
"Fish n' chip shops are well-placed to prosper in the current economic climate as they offer value for money and a quality product with a feel-good factor," says Andy Gray, project manager for Seafish and a competition judge. "Despite the credit crunch, people still want to enjoy small luxuries. Fish n' chips are a national institution that have survived the test of time and will be around for many years to come."
Anstruther Fish Bar owners Robert and Alison Smith were presented with the award by chef Simon Rimmer, star of BBC 2's "Something for the Weekend," during a ceremony at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London today.
The other winners of the 21st annual competition are Colmans of South Shields in second place and Thornton Fisheries of Leeds in third place. The chippies were judged on product quality, responsible seafood sourcing, customer service, food hygiene, staff training and community spirit.
"Being named best in Scotland for the fourth time was fantastic for us, but claiming the national title has always been our ambition; it's the ultimate goal in our industry," says Alison Smith.
22 January, 2009