A survey for CGA’s new ‘Food Insights 22’ report revealed Britain’s favourite pub grub, with one clear winner.
More than one in four (28%) consumers picked fish and chips as one of their three top dishes when eating out in pubs and bars, and there is plenty of headroom for growth at the premium end of the market, the research showed.
This puts it ahead of other perennial favourites including carveries and roasts, which was a close second among consumers with 24% of survey respondents ranking it in their top three.
Steak (22%), pizza (21%) and beef burgers (17%) also ranked in the top five on the report’s rundown of consumers’ most-wanted pub and bar meals.
Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Britain’s consumers have never had such a wide choice of options when eating out, so it’s fascinating to see the appetite for fish and chips is undimmed.”
Fish and chips has been a quintessentially British dish for decades. CGA’s report into food trends flags opportunities to increase sales even further.
Half (48%) of consumers are willing to try a premium fish and chip restaurant or shop, the research revealed. Three in five (60%) also said they are likely to pay more for a better quality version of the dish.
Pub goers are also keen to mix up the classic dish. More than a quarter said they would consider ordering options like tuna (29%), lobster (27%) and crab (27%) if they saw them on a fish and chip shop’s menu.
Chessell added: “Even in very mature parts of the eating-out market like this, it’s encouraging to see there is still so much potential to grow sales, especially by helping people trade up to new alternatives and making fish and chip shops destinations in their own right. With spending on eating out under mounting pressure, tempting consumers with exciting twists on popular favourites like fish and chips will be a crucial tactic in the months ahead.”
There may be a desire among some consumers for more premium fish and chip offerings, but others are appalled by the thought. Gordon Ramsay was blasted last year for selling £32 fish and chips at his new restaurant.
Hearing of the new research, writer Pete Brown took to Twitter to discuss the results of Britain’s favourite pub grub, with mixed responses.
This is interesting! Where I live pub food is almost exclusively pizza and burgers now so great to see overall, fish & chips rules. As for “premium versions” – it could just be done much, much better in some places. https://t.co/D5DWNXVT0x
— Pete Brown (@PeteBrownBeer) September 7, 2022
One Twitter user responded: “The concept of premium version fish & chips makes me shudder.”
While others were more open to the idea of lighter bites and premium offerings.
“It’s the tendency for pub menus to have little other than big meals with chips and other belly-busting stodge that means we very rarely choose to eat in the pub. More non-fried sharing boards and light salad partnered food means I’ll drink more of your beer,” former cidermaker Mark Shirley wrote in response.
It’s the tendency for pub menus to have little other than big meals with chips and other belly-busting stodge that means we very rarely choose to eat in the pub. More non-fried sharing boards and light salad partnered food means I’ll drink more of your beer.
— Mark Shirley (@RFCider) September 7, 2022
This article was originally published by the drinks business and has been shared with permission.