Why the UK Could Lose a Third of its Iconic Fish and Chip Shops
Like many businesses in the UK, the fish and chip industry was hit hard by COVID-19, meaning shops couldn’t cater to sit-down diners.
But since then, a perfect storm of pressures has assailed the industry. Soaring costs for key ingredients, combined with doubling energy costs, mean chippies around the UK face a very real threat to their future.
The Most Dangerous Threat to the Industry in 160 Years
- 75% price increase for Cod and Haddock – due to higher costs of fuel for fishing fleets and increased wages for processing labour
- 30% hike on Chips – due to higher fuel prices and increased costs of Russian fertiliser
- 60% increase for Sunflower Oil – The price of sunflower oil jumped 60% after the invasion of Ukraine, but they were already suffering due to increased demand from biofuels, plus pressures from climate change
- 38-45% rise in Packaging Costs due to the rise in price of paper, materials, labour costs and transit
- 120% price rise for Mushy Peas – due to inflation, rising fuel and labour costs
- 40% surge for Batter – due to higher wheat prices, lower stocks and uncertainty in the wheat market
Andrew Crook, the president of the National Federation of Fish Friers calls the crisis ‘the most dangerous threat to the industry in 160 years.’
‘“It’s already terrifying. I’m 22 years in the industry and I’ve been through a lot of scares. But we’ve got a crisis on a crisis and now the rise to minimum wage and potential return to 20% VAT. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s everything all at once.’
Support Your Local Fish and Chip Shop Despite the Rising Prices
‘Your local fish and chip sector has absolutely no choice but to raise its prices or face insolvency’ comments insolvency practitioner Chris Andersen.
‘When an industry that traditionally works on tight margins finds every single one of its core ingredients rocketing in price, plus increase labour costs and taxes, you have a recipe for mass insolvencies.’
‘The British fish and chip sector lies at the heart of our tourist industry as well as our national identity. All of us who visit the seaside this summer can support this great industry via seeing fish and chips not as a cheap alternative to cooking dinner, but as a tradition that’s worth paying a bit more for.
If we don’t, we shouldn’t be surprised to find those same premises empty next year.’