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Shrinking fish and chips for healthier portion sizes


Research funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) has shown that smaller portions of fish and chips could be popular with both takeaway owners and their customers.

Researchers worked with independent fish and chip supplier Henry Colbeck to develop the Lite-BITE® box - its smaller dimensions mean a portion comes in at around 600 calories, compared to an average fish and chips meal containing over 1,600 calories.

The research, published in BMJ Open, involved experts from NIHR SPHR and Newcastle University working with takeaway owners to highlight the problem of excessive portion sizes and customers’ desire for healthier, smaller meals.

Shop owners were also supplied with promotional posters and incentives including free packaging. The work led to supplier Henry Colbeck developing the Lite-BITE® box.

Lead author Louis Goffe, Research Associate at Newcastle University and member of Fuse, The Centre for Translational Research said: “I love fish and chips and this research aims to find a way that we can have our fish and chip treat - but less of it.

“We focussed on coming up with a solution which provides a healthier meal option but equally importantly works for the fish and chip shop owners. The sales show that there is a demand for smaller portion meals and we hope this will act as a template for others in the fast-food sector to follow.”

Jackie Pearson, Head of Marketing at Henry Colbeck Limited said: “The Lite-BITE® boxes have been hugely popular and sales have continued to grow with over 250 shops now using the boxes and buying over 700,000 in the last year.

“We have national coverage to the UK fish and chip market through our two sister companies, Friar's Pride and VA Whitley. Combined, we have sold 12,000 cases of Lite-BITE boxes in 2018 which equates to 12,000,000 boxes.”