Are Fish and Chips still our favourite fast food?


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When people talk about “fast food” and “take away,” they mostly think of Chinese, Indian, or one of the other foods available, but somehow the phrase takeaway and fast food has not, until recent times included, Fish and Chips.

Perhaps this is because the phrases take away and fast food were not in circulation when Fish and Chips became Britain’s favourite takeaway.

A survey taken in 1972 had 64% of the takeaways eaten in Britain as Fish and chips. Chinese lagged behind at 17% of the total consumed, while Indian cuisine trailed a sad third with only 11%.

In 1999, according to a survey taken by the National Federation of Fish Friers, the great British Public ate almost 300 million portions of Fish and chips, definitely the nation’s favourite fast food.

However, in 2012, things looked very different. Fish and chips remained ahead of the field, on 39% of the takeaway market, but Chinese takeaways had crept up to 33% and Indian 29%.

Although Fish and chips remain the favourite takeaway of the British fast food market, its position seems to be under threat.

Why is this?
There may be several reasons.

Since 1972, the fast-food market has changed, and the consumer has a far wider choice of dishes from which to choose.

Apart from the top three, fish and chips, Chinese and Indian, relative newcomers have invaded the market.

Burgers, Kebabs, Pizzas, and Fried Chicken have arrived in the market to challenge Fish and chip’s position as the nation’s favourite fast food.

Despite all competition, it appears Fish and Chips remains the nation’s favourite.

However, are the fish friars resting on their laurels?

One of the reasons the competition is making inroads into the fried fish market is advertising.

Nearly every one of Fish and Chip’s competitors uses leaflet distribution to advertise their dishes.

At DOR-2-DOR we design, print and deliver many leafleting campaigns for Pizza shops, Kebab shops, and Fried Chicken vendors, Chinese and Indian restaurants.These leaflets advertise special offers, new menus and anything that will encourage the reader to visit their restaurants or order their products.

However, although we have done some very successful campaigns for Fish & Chips shops they are very much in the minority compared to the other fast food outlets.,

So why, if they see all of their competition using leaflet distribution to drive their sales messages home, do fish friars seem reluctant to do the same.

Is it because they believe it to be too expensive, or maybe they believe door drop leaflets do not work.

If this was true, then why are all the other fast food sellers continually sending out leaflets? They do this because leaflet distribution works. Every takeaway and restaurant using leaflet distribution are doing so because it gives them a healthy return on their investment.

The leaflets they send out with revised menus or special offers are constantly reminding their existing customers they are still open for business, while at the same time recruiting new customers.

Fish and chips remain the nation’s favourite fast food, but other fast food suppliers are pursuing them.

To retain the number one position and even increase their lead over their rivals, they should take a leaf out of the competitions book.

Well thought out and targeted leaflet campaigns will increase their turnover and their profits, just as it does for their rivals.

If I were writing a school report on the fish and chip industry, I would say “Doing well, but could do better.”

They have a product loved by the British people and they should be proud to advertise the fact. And leaflet distribution is the way to do it.

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