Quality counts in the UK Consumer Foodservice market, by Euromonitor International
Large numbers of UK consumers are turning to higher quality foodservice options as their tastes become ever-more sophisticated. Findings from Euromonitor International's latest report, Consumer Foodservice in the UK, show that these changing consumer preferences are driving value growth across the whole foodservice industry.
Product premiumisation leads to a boom in sales Demand for premium products is significantly driving growth in the consumer foodservice market in the UK, with sales growing at an annual average rate of 4.5% between 2000 and 2005, reaching a total of £42.4 billion in 2005. Higher disposable incomes and the desire to experience a more affluent lifestyle, are leading consumers to search for exciting, premium, culinary experiences. As such, Euromonitor International's research shows that consumer spend on foodservice has also dramatically increased with per capita spend growing from £581 in 2000 to £709 in 2005.
All foodservice sectors are taking a bite of the posh pie The premiumisation of products is occurring in all foodservice sectors according to Consumer Foodservice in the UK. Full service restaurants are developing ever more sophisticated meals, forcing value sales to grow at a much faster rate than the number of outlets and transactions. Cafés and bars are also responding to the stampede for higher quality food, in an attempt to prevent their customers from switching to full service restaurants.
Coffee shops are also reaping the benefits of the change in consumer tastes. According to Elisa Dani, Foodservice Research Manager from Euromonitor International, “The trend is particularly significant for specialist coffee shops, where consumers are now more willing to pay higher prices for a cup of premium coffee, as well as top prices for the food offered, such as cakes and pastries.”
Healthier offerings are also on the rise However, consumers are not just demanding better quality foodservice options, they are also wanting healthier products – a result of rising awareness amongst the UK population of the relationship between food consumption and health, following heightened media attention and government initiatives over the obesity crisis. UK consumers are increasingly taking responsibility for their diets, forcing foodservice operators to offer a wider range of healthier alternatives.
According to Euromonitor International's report, the fast food sector has been impacted most of all by this trend. McDonalds has taken the lion's share of the publicity, with its recently developed New Tastes Menu, which refers to 'burgers' as 'sandwiches' and includes a range of salads and fruits. Other fast food chains are also following suit with similar offerings to try and broaden their appeal to new customers.
Chinese restaurants suffer the backlash Chinese restaurants are currently suffering from a decline in sales as consumers are put off by the unhealthy image of Chinese food. Once high-flyers in the foodservice industry, Chinese restaurants are currently experiencing a decline in their share of the UK market, which has decreased by over 1% since 1999 according to Euromonitor's latest research. Consumer foodservice in the UK identifies the reputation that Chinese food has for being fatty and laden with additives, as the key factor driving consumers to other types of restaurant.
Euromonitor's Elisa Dani points out, “While Asian food in general is being increasingly sought after by consumers, in contrast Chinese foodservice outlets are suffering. The trend is so significant that many Chinese restaurants are resorting to re-branding themselves as Thai or Malaysian as these formats are perceived to be much healthier.”
For further detail about this article and other related findings, please visit Euromonitor International by clicking here.