Heinz to hand out umbrellas in Whitby to stop seagulls stealing visitors’ fish and chips

We've all been there.

Yasmin Tonna, from Whitby, with the 'HANGRI'

If it's not being furious that a seagull has nicked a chip, stolen your fish or made you drop your meal in fright, then you've probably chuckled when you've seen it happen to someone else.

However, this Bank Holiday week Heinz is hoping to make that a thing of the past by handing out umbrellas to visitors to Whitby so they can eat their chippy in peace.

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The company, famous for its sauces, is calling it the HANGRI (Heinz’s Amazing No-Gull Repeller Instrument) - but it rather looks like an umbrella to us.

Marie Paling, head chef at Abbey Wharf restaurant and Yasmin Tonna, from Whitby, using the umbrella

The idea is being trialled at the Abbey Wharf restaurant in Whitby from August 24 to 31.

Alison Brady, from Abbey Wharf, said: “There is nothing more frustrating than a seagull bothering you when you are enjoying your food outdoors by the sea. HANGRI is a fun way to tell seagulls to step back and let our punters enjoy their chips in peace.”

Heinz said it chose Whitby to test out the idea because of the "ongoing onslaught of pesky seagulls" in the Yorkshire seaside town.

Asmita Singh, from Heinz, said: "Our research showed that there is nothing we enjoy more on a British holiday than fish and chips with a dollop of sauce by the sea. Unfortunately, it’s not just us that enjoy it – our seaside gulls are known for having a particular hankering for a chippy tea.

"We use umbrellas to protect ourselves from the rain, why not create a summer solution to another sky-based source of frustration – seagulls?’

“We want the nation to squeeze every last drop out of this summer and tuck in on the beach or pier without any worry of losing a chip that they have perfectly dipped to a swooping seagull."