British attitudes towards the national dish of ‘fish ’n chips’ are evolving, according to new research by the Norwegian Seafood Council.

As sustainable fishing rises up the agenda, diners now expect more when it comes to sourcing and are demanding greater transparency. This change is being driven by younger, more environmentally aware consumers.

The UK continues to be a nation of fish and chip lovers, says the Norwegian Seafood Council. More than a third of Brits eat them once a week or more, and 65% at least once a month. Sixty-two percent of respondents to the survey prefer fish and chips straight out of the packaging, with 46% eating them with their fingers.

There is a strong consensus when it comes to sustainability – nearly 89% of diners agreed that sustainable fish is important to them. But only 24% said they knew what to look for when it came to sustainable fish in a fish and chip shop, and the majority (53%) were not even sure they can tell the difference between cod and haddock.

Seventy-four percent of respondents agreed that they would find it helpful for fish and chips shops to tell them more about the sustainability credentials of their dishes.

Younger generations eat fish and chips more frequently – 70% of 18- to 24-year- olds eat fish and chips at least weekly. But although this generation eats most, they are more demanding when it comes to environmental credentials – 85% think the origin of a catch is important when buying fish in a fish and chip shop.

And more of them than the general population are confident they can tell a cod from a haddock – 63%.

Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, UK director of the Norwegian Seafood Council, said: “We’re seeing a sea change in public awareness around sustainability. And as the traditional fish and chip supper adapts to meet these needs, customers are asking for more help to make the right choices.”

Significant numbers of fish and chips shops across the UK use Norwegian haddock and cod.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.


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