Feeling chippie

Britain’s fish and chip shops saw a small increase in total spend (sales) of +1.1% to year ending September 2013, according to new foodservice industry figures from The NPD Group.

The global information company says consumers are now spending an average of £3.20 per person each time they visit their local chippie.

Food & Drink International reported that 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 includes burger chains, chicken shops, kebab shops, takeaways, chippies and pizza deliveries) is now worth £11.4bn in Britain – that’s 23% of the total out-of-home eating industry.

Brands account for 50.4% of traffic and 50.6% of sales in the fast food market and they’re growing. These figures are up +1.9% and +3.3% respectively over the last year, and saw double digit growth since 2008.

But will Britain’s chippies struggle to survive as they compete with the fast food giants and other chains?

Guy Fielding, director of business development for The NPD Group, says there are three big motivations for eating out at fast food restaurants that can easily work in the chippie’s favour:

Convenience: 39.5% of fast food consumers cited this as a reason for where they choose to eat out (YE Sept 2013). Fish and chip shops would do well to emphasise convenience because they can serve fresh, hot food quickly, and they typically serve a local and often loyal catchment area that’s close to the outlet.

Family dining: People are going out to eat less often, but it has become more of a special event. ‘Spending time as a family’ has increased in importance every year since 2008 – with 11.2% of fast-food consumers citing this as their motivation to go out and eat now vs. 7% in 2008. Fish and chip shops can underline their family appeal more.

Treat yourself and the kids: The desire for a ‘treat’ was the motivation to eat out for 22.7% of fast-food consumers (YE Sept 2013) vs 19% in 2008.

Michael Bennett managing director of food and hospitality PR experts Pelican commented: “Chippies are part of the fabric of local communities. Unlike many pubs they are open to the whole family, so in order to maintain their success they need to highlight the family dining experience combined with emphasising their local credentials.”

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