Battering Your Bank Balance – The Rising Cost of Fish & Chips

by David Redmond on 8 Aug, 2012

Fish and chips is as British as queuing and although the health and safety brigade no longer allow it to be served wrapped in newspaper, it remains a tasty treat that can be enjoyed equally, whether you are on the seafront or relaxing at home in front of the TV.

In the Second World War, chips were one of the very few foods which were not rationed, allowing Britain a tasty but thrifty treat.

Unfortunately, although fish and chips remains the country’s favourite takeaway, the cost of enjoying it has risen sharply, outstripping even inflation.

According to the ‘Rising Costs of Fish and Chips Infographic’ from debt management firm, Baines and Ernst, during the 1970s it cost just 25p on average to enjoy a crisp battered fish and some fluffy, vinegar covered chips. However, the price has now jumped to £3.30 per portion, no longer the cost-effective treat that every family can afford. Research reveals some regional variations; in places like Sunderland and Suffolk, a portion can be enjoyed for as little as £2.50, but poor old Londoners have to pay double this, with an average cost of £5! Ouch.

The chart from Baines and Ernst shows the steady climb in price from 25p during the 70s, to an average of 83p during the 80s, £1.68 during the 90s, £2.43 in the early 2000s, to the typical cost of £3.30 today.

This climb is equivalent to a rise in inflation of 1197%, far steeper than the overall climb in the cost of living. The decade that saw the biggest spike was the 1970s, with fish and chips inflation rising by 225%.

Prices have levelled off somewhat in the last decade, but have continued to rise, higher by 30% during the first decade of this century. However, it would seem that the rising cost has not deterred Brits, who still prefer to fork out for fish and chips than any other takeaway….with or without newspaper.

About the Author

David Redmond


David Redmond is a Partner of Don Gilliard Finance Group. He is a fee-only, independent financial advisor and financial planner. For over 15 years, he has been helping individual investors and their families realize their investment goals.