Well, what a fantastic day we had this year. We had two events running on National Fish and Chip Day – one at Trinity House opposite the Tower of London, and one in the Naval Dockyard at Portsmouth.
With months in the planning, these two events could not have run smoother on the day and with fantastic weather too, it drew more crowds than we expected.
So first to London. Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring so it was a very obvious partnership for us. Their courtyard at the front of the building was the perfect size to create a beach themed event with Kingfisher Fish and Chips at the forefront. We began proceedings at 6.30 a.m. with the arrival of props and we were frying and giving away portions of Fish & Chips by 7.30 a.m. This continued for 7 straight hours before a quick break and then another hour or so before rain stopped proceedings. In that time, we gave away over 1400 portions of fish and chips to some very happy commuters and tourists alike, and raised a substantial amount of money for The Fisherman’s Mission.
In Portsmouth, Long John’s mobile van was given prime location on the naval side of the dockyard where it was set up to serve the crew of HMS Duncan, who unexpectedly returned to Portsmouth the day before and was alongside HMS Daring who returned from a nine month deployment two weeks ago. This exclusive location enabled Long Johns to give away 350 portions of Fish & Chips over the lunchtime period to some delighted servicemen and women, including the ship’s chefs who left their own galley to come and join the celebration.
Both of these events were generously funded by NEODA members – AAK; ADM; Blakemans; Drywite; Duncrue Food Processors; Friars Pride; Kassero; Kerry; KFE; Henry Colbeck; Isle of Ely; JL Owen; Middleton Foods; The Q Partnership; Seafish; Silbury; VA Whitley and Vandemoortele. The supplies used on the day were donated by Atlantika, Friars Pride, Henry Colbeck, JJ Foodservice; Leinebris; Seafood Norway; Smales, T Quality and VA Whitley. And of course, a huge thank you has to go to Craig, Nikki and Ashley at Kingfisher Fish & Chips for their enthusiasm and passion for the industry they work so hard to promote.
We were delighted to see Fish & Chip shops across the country embracing the day and not only setting up some fantastic competitions and offers, but making excellent use of our campaign toolkit too. They downloaded and circulated the Press Release and other marketing materials, sent details to their local radio and press and even invited newspapers and radio stations to come along to the shop on the day.
Our own Great Fish & Chip Survey and Press Release were circulated by our PR Agency to all National print, online and broadcast media and the results were phenomenal – the NEODA name has become synonymous with National Fish and Chip Day! Some very big names were talking about the day from Sara Cox on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show to The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Star, Metro, Lorraine on ITV, TalkSport, Five Live and many, many more. NEODA’s Secretary General, Lynda Simmons, said “We are absolutely delighted to see how much excitement and enthusiasm there is around the Industry for National Fish and Chip Day. We are proud to bring this Awareness Day to the Nation and be able to specifically recognise all those who work so hard to deliver the Nation’s favourite dish”.
Fish and Chip Shops the length and breadth of the country joined the Nation in talking about National Fish and Chip Day on social media and it wasn’t long before #nationalfishandchipday had knocked even Donald Trump off the number 1 spot on Twitter where it remained for the entire day! Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver went head to head on Twitter with both reaching many millions of followers!
Without doubt, NEODA has ensured that this Awareness Day continues to grow year on year and we have surpassed our own expectations as to how successful NF&CD 2017 would be.
What a brilliant day dedicated to celebrating fish and chips!