The Flemish region of Belgium, home of highly productive potato farms and value-added processing plants, will mark the 24th edition of Fries Week (Week Van de Friet) from November 6-12. Folks celebrating this year’s event are being encouraged to have their ears peeled to take in the sizzling sound of friietjes frying in addition to indulging in their sense of taste, smell, touch and sight while visiting local chip shops.
VLAM, the Flanders Agricultural Marketing Board, is once again putting the chip shop culture and potatoes in the spotlight. “After the sense of ‘seeing’ last year, this year we are focusing on the sense of ‘hearing’ in the fries campaign. Because just like seeing delicious fries, the typical frying sounds also arouse the craving for fries from the chip shop,” according to a press release issued by the Brussels-based organization.
On Monday, November 6, it will kick off the 2023 campaign on a number of radio stations, among them MNM, Studio Brussels, Joe FM and Q-Music. In a brand new spot, typical chip preparation sounds and conversations will be heard, meant to whet the appetites of consumers for fried potato treats that only chip shops can offer. In addition to radio, social media platforms are being used to make Fries Week known to as much of the public as possible.
Belgium, which prides itself on producing and serving crispy, golden fries, boasts more than 4,600 chip shops and stands. Figures compiled in November 2022 during Fries Week by iVox on behalf of VLAM show the following:
• 53% of Flemish consumers go to chip shops at least once a month (in 2013 the percentage was 46%), while 19% go weekly. Only 9% say they never patronize such establishments.
• In an average week, about 33% of consumers in Flanders make purchases at chip shops. During Fries Week 2022, this increased to 41%.
• 63% believe that the campaign creates a craving for fries and 76% also think that it positively portrays chip shop products in a positive way.
• The average Flemish consumer appreciates chip shops not only for quick access to tasty food, but also for proximity, friendly service and wide range of product offerings.
• 76% state that they almost always patronize the same chip shop.