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Article Date: 2014-09-10

UK consumers are traditionalists for the seaside, salt and vinegar

People from Belfast eat fish and chips the most often and are the poshest noshers, preferring to eat off a plate (64%) as opposed to out of the paper or box (34%)2, according to new research commissioned by Seafish, organiser of The National Fish & Chip Awards.

A separate survey conducted by YouGov1, revealed that London is also amongst the UK’s poshest noshers when it comes to eating the nation’s favourite takeaway; with 46% preferring to eat them off a plate compared to 38% out of the paper or box.

Not surprisingly, amongst the cities surveyed, 87% eat fish and chips from a takeaway. In a further national survey conducted by YouGov1, it was found that around two thirds of UK fish and chip eaters add salt (65%) and vinegar (68%), over a third (37%) have mushy peas with their meal and more than half the respondents (52%) prefer eating fish and chips straight from the paper or box. The seaside emerged as the nation’s favourite location for enjoying the humble dish (31%), followed by at home on the sofa.

While mushy peas were voted the UK’s top accompaniment, 20% choose curry sauce and the younger generation enjoy the continental habit of adding mayonnaise, with 19% enjoying this addition to their fish and chips.

Andy Gray, of The National Fish & Chip Awards, said: "It’s reassuring that as a nation we still love to eat our fish and chips the old fashioned way with plenty of salt, vinegar and mushy peas.

"However, it’s clear that there are some interesting variations on how people eat their fish and chips depending on where they live; curry sauce in Birmingham, tomato ketchup in Newcastle, gravy in Manchester and salt ‘n’ sauce in Edinburgh. Everyone has an opinion on how and where fish and chips should be enjoyed.”

Nine of the 12 cities surveyed listed tomato ketchup as their favourite condiment after salt and vinegar, with nationally one in every four respondents smothering their chippie portions with red sauce.

Nationally, men eat fish and chips more often than women, with 41% consuming crispy battered fish and piping-hot chips at least once a month, compared with 30% of women.

Fish and chip loving cities
• Belfast: eats the most cod (81% of respondents prefer cod) and is tops for splashing on vinegar (80%). People in Belfast eat fish and chips most often (54% enjoying it at least once a month)
• Birmingham: adds more curry sauce than any other city surveyed (43%)
• Newcastle: biggest fans of eating from the paper/box (70%); top for both tomato ketchup (40%) and eating by the seaside (37%)
• Manchester: No1 for adding mushy peas (66%) and gravy (29%)
• Cardiff: Cardiff add salt (89%) the most frequently and like Glaswegians, love eating them on the way home from the pub
• Edinburgh: Nearly half of respondents (45%) prefer to eat fish and chips on the couch in front of the TV favouring salt ‘n’ sauce (45%)

The annual National Fish & Chip Awards recognise the quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses across the UK. Seafish will reward the best talent and highest standards in the fish frying industry at the 2015 awards ceremony on 20 January at The Lancaster London Hotel.

Tell us how you like your fish and chips by tweeting @FishnChipAwards, using #MyFishandChips.
Fish Friers