Sustainability hooks chippie diners while price drifts behind

Fish and chip diners choose sustainability over price when eating seafood

  • 8 in 10 seafood diners (81%) want sustainability claims independently verified – with only 10% of diners saying that businesses contribute very well to protecting oceans

  • Plastic pollution and overfishing are the most concerning ocean issues

The Marine Stewardship Council has commissioned a study that reveals the habits of British fish and chip shop diners. The study found that chippie diners choose sustainability over price when dining out, with safe to eat, taste, fresh, and good for heath as priority factors.

Conducted by research agency GlobeScan, the survey shows fish and chip shop diners demand independent verification of sustainability claims - with 8 in 10 (81%) saying that brands’ claims about sustainability need to be clearly labelled by an independent organisation.

Concerns about overfishing come second only to plastic pollution, and 79% diners believe that people should be prepared to switch to another type of fish if it is more sustainable.


In a climate of low consumer trust in business and government1, trust in the blue MSC label remains high at 70%. Over half (56%) of fish and chip shop lovers say ecolabels on fish and seafood raise trust and confidence in a brand.

Globescan’s research into seafood diner habits also revealed the high appetite for the British fish supper. While most seafood diners (92%) purchase their seafood in supermarkets, almost two-thirds (62%) purchase their fish from the fish and chip shop.

The research shows that fish and chip shop diners are keen to learn more, with 72% saying they would like to hear more from businesses about sustainability of fish and seafood products.

Rise of the sustainable chippie

1 In 2018, 36% of UK population trust government and 43% trust business in the UK , according to Edelman Trust Barometer.

At the 2018 National Fish & Chip Awards in London, the ‘Oscars’ of the frying world, 12 out of the 16 winners are MSC certified. Captain’s in Hoddesdon, who have been shortlisted in Britain’s Top 10 fish and chip shops (two years in a row), started serving MSC certified fish this year. Also, Yorkshire’s Wetherby Whaler had five sites certified earlier this year, and in addition, Lakeside fish and chip shop were the first in the country to put MSC’s newly certified Poole Harbour clams on their menu, proving local can also be sustainable. Since 2016, there has been a 115% increase in fish and chip shops with MSC certified seafood on their menus. There are currently 120 fish and chip shops MSC certified across the UK.

In addition, this year Café Rouge and Wetherspoons (with their popular ‘Fish Fridays’) have both launched MSC-certified sustainable seafood dishes on their menus, meaning over 900 new sites offer customers sustainable fish choices.

Loren Hiller, Commercial Officer, UK & Ireland, says, “It’s clear that fish and chip diners are placing increasing importance on seafood sustainability when they’re picking up their fish supper. Thanks to our certified fish and chip shops who are committed to offering 100% traceable and sustainable seafood, it’s easier than ever for diners to enjoy their favourite meal knowing that there will be plenty more fish left in the sea.”

Recent Posts

Stay Up-To-Date with New Posts

Search By Tags