You celebrated in every way possible and, as a result, this year’s National Fish & Chip Day proved a great success
Well, you can’t say National Fish & Chip Day went unnoticed this year! From the vast number of shops taking part and making noise themselves, to the rafts of media coverage secured as a result of the great work carried out by NEODA, nearly every inch of the UK knew Friday 1st June was dedicated to fish and chips and nothing else.
For those shops that took part, the majority have said it was a success in one way shape or form, whether it was an uplift in sales, an increase in footfall or new customers coming in to find out what all the fuss was about. While some shops reported no big change in footfall, many did find average spend was up as customers were ordering more fish, which itself goes to show the event is having an influence on people’s buying habits.
At the Fish Hoose in Thornton, Fife, under Colin Cromar’s guidance, the shop celebrated its first Fish and Chip Day and its first birthday with sales up by around 10% and fish sales also up 10%. At Towngate Fisheries, in Idle, Bradford, £4 fish and chips pushed takings 50% higher than a normal Friday and, once again, improved fish sales.
For newcomers Victoria and Sam Azmagesh, it was a great way to get their takeaway, St Paul's Fish Bar in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, noticed. Giving away a week's worth of mushy peas and tartare sauce with orders of fish and chips, it was one of the shop's best days since opening. Victoria said: "We had the best cod sales we've ever had. The day's takings were approximately double a weekday with over twice as much cod sold than on a usual Friday!
"We saw a lot of new faces so all of the leafleting and other PR we did certainly paid off. It was such a fantastic campaign to be involved with and we cannot wait for next year!"
Media coverage in the build-up to, and on National Fish and Chip Day, was ramped up this year with three live broadcasts on BBC Breakfast News, while Coronation Street displayed NEODA’s National Fish and Chip Day poster in the Café!
National radio followed throughout the day on BBC Radio 2 with Sara Cox talking about fish and chips, and scraps or gribbles for most of the show! Trevor Nelson followed suit and on the Thursday before National Fish and Chip Day, Millers of Haxby made an appearance on the Simon Mayo and Jo Wiley Show. Talk Radio, Absolute Radio, Radio X, LBC and Magic all mentioned National Fish and Chip Day after they received deliveries of freshly cooked fish and chips to their studios!
National print and online newspapers, as well as regional TV and radio stations, also covered the event, while social media hit at a whole new level with National Fish and Chip Day quickly reaching number 1 on Twitter and trending on Facebook. Organisations like Conde Nast Traveller, The V&A Museum in London, Visit London and even NHS Choices all helped spread the word. This year also saw a huge increase in activity on Instagram with more than 4,000 posts with the hashtag. This suggests an increased engagement with a younger demographic.
Lynda Simmons, secretary general of NEODA, says: “It is time to say thank you! I would like to thank all the NEODA members who made financial contributions prior to the day that enabled us to make National Fish and Chip Day even bigger and better than before, thanks to all those who worked so hard on the Route to London relay and to our friends at the Seafish Authority for their contribution which ensured we could give the event a big PR push – which as the results above show, has paid off."
How you celebrated
Almost 1,600 portions of fish and chips were handed out for free in London - the equivalent of 200 free portions an hour - as Craig Maw and Nikki Mutton parked up their van Kingfisher on the Go outside Trinity House, the headquarters for the seafarers’ charity, Fishermen’s Mission.
Harry Ramsden’s hid 2,500 branded golden fish and chip forks around its premises which customers could swap them for a free portion of fish and chips.
In Armagh, Northern Ireland, Malachy Mallon used the day to launch his new fish and chip shop, Dolphin II, based in Railway Street.
The Fishworks in Largs was one of only two shops in Scotland to have the new Royal Mint Fish and Chip 10p coins in its till. Those customers lucky enough to receive one could bring it into the shop and exchange it for fish and chips.
In Portsmouth, Long John’s Fish and Chip van fed the crew of three of the Royal Navy’s Fishery Protection Squadron vessels - HMS Mersey, Forth and Tyne.
NEODA’s Route to London Relay was a great success with NEODA members and representatives from Middletons, Friars Pride, Henry Colbeck and Kerry Foods visiting as many shops as they could in the days leading up to National Fish and Chip Day.
Friars Pride supplied the fish for both of the official London and Portsmouth events. This was the beautiful Rammi oCeanReserve 12-16oz skinless boneless cod, with Long Johns Fish & Chips so impressed that they took to social media to say: “The cod was amazing! So many compliments." Friars Pride also took the baton from Henry Colbeck in Doncaster to continue the Route to London Relay, taking in shops including WJ Rowe, Burton Road Chippy, Elite Fish & Chips, and Werrington Traditional and Seafare in Burpham.
At London's Golden Union, the frier was in at 4am prepping fish and chips to be delivered to national radio and other media platforms in central London. Recipients were treated to a range of fried fish, including pollack, cod, haddock and fried halloumi for the vegetarians, with the first batch leaving the shop at 7.50am.
The team at the award-winning Mayfair Chippy were in early too, prepping fish and chips to be delivered to the BBC Radio London’s Breakfast Show. FISH in Borough Market, Poppies in Camden Town and Britannia Fish Bar in Canary Wharf also ensured the city's presenters and DJs were well-fed.
A taste for the best
Seafood giant Young’s used National Fish & Chip Day to unveil Mat Ombler as its newly appointed Fish & Chip Taster.
Mat, who is Hull born and bred and claims to be the UK’s biggest fish and chip fan, appeared on numerous radio stations across the country including three regional BBC stations as well as Talk Radio and Express FM where he passionately spoke of his love of fish and chips.
Mat will be responsible for testing Young’s’ Chip Shop range for the next 12 months, ensuring that only the best reaches the public.