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Fish Friers

The way to Brits’ hearts really is through their stomachs

Article Date: 2016-07-15

Barclaycard uncovers the nation’s ultimate shopping list, with fish and chips voted as the UK’s number one British buy

Barclaycard reveals results of The Great British Shopping Showdown and finds food and drink dominate our top ten British buys Fish and chips claims top spot followed by Sunday roasts and a cup of tea Yet Northern cities, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle bucked the national trend and opted for the Sunday roast over the seaside favourite Sheffield has country’s sweetest tooth with only sugary treats featuring in their top ten shopping items Most popular non-food items were umbrellas, wellies and picnic hampers


The nation has spoken and our favourite shopping items, as voted for by the British public, are dominated by food and drinks with fish and chips, Sunday roasts, tea, fry-ups and scones making up the top five items on Britain’s ultimate shopping list. 

Launched for Barclaycard’s 50th anniversary, the interactive Great British Shopping Showdown enabled participants to battle it out over the nation’s ultimate shopping list in a series of ‘Tinder-style’ battles. The results from almost a quarter of a million votes show just how much Brits love their comfort foods with the top ten completely overtaken by food and drink.

The top ten shopping items in the Great British Shopping Showdown were:



Shopping Item


Fish and chips


Sunday Roast








Strawberries & cream


Victoria Sponge


Chip Butties




99 Ice creams


Fish and chips was the catch of the day - the fact that there are over 10,500 specialist fish and chip shops in the UK is testament to the popularity of this takeaway treat. The British public consumes 382 million portions of fish and chips each year and annual spend reaches £1.2 billion*.

Taking second spot was the Sunday roast, and while several northern cities including Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle-upon-Tyne put the family favourite above fish and chips as their number one item, they were outvoted by the rest of the country. 

Most Brits have a sweet tooth, and this is particularly true in Sheffield, whose top ten shopping list featured apple crumble, Victoria sponge, chocolate bars, scones and strawberries and cream.

Tea was another clear shopping icon for Brits, taking the 2nd or 3rdspot in most cities apart from Birmingham. Brummies voted for the Sunday Roast, fish and chips, strawberries and cream, Victoria sponge and fry-ups ahead of our staple hot drink. Birmingham’s top 20 also featured spotted dick, marmalade, pork pies, and cheese.

Aside from our favourite foods, the top non-related food items on the nation’s ultimate shopping list were picnic hampers, Wellington boots and umbrellas – which goes to show that our fascination the British weather also rings true when it comes to our shopping behaviour.

Professor Isabelle Szmigin, consumer behaviour expert, Birmingham Business School said: 

"What is so interesting about the top three itemsin the Great British Shopping Showdown is that they represent different and enduring aspects of British life. Fish and chips are Britain’s archetypal fast food that everyone can enjoy. The Sunday roast represents our social life when family and friends get together at the weekend.Finally tea is our all-time comfort drink; whether we have had a hard day at work or want a gossip with friends, tea provides the perfect accompaniment.”

Katherine Whitton, Chief Marketing Officer for Barclaycard, said:

"Shopping has long been a favourite pastime of the British public so it was encouraging to see almost a quarter of a million people get behind this national digital debate. As a nation of foodies, this top ten 10 list proves once and for all that the way to our hearts really is through our stomachs.”

"Barclaycard has been helping people buy and sell for the last 50 years and while we’ve seen many trends come and go in this time, the Great British Shopping Showdown results show that some British favourites are firmly set to stay. While our love of food remains a national obsession we also enjoyed seeing that umbrellas and wellies were so high up the list – it’s not surprising that we Brits are always prepared for a downpour!”

Fish Friers