£10 billion incentive for foodservice operators

Leicester Square

The value of the UK foodservice sector is tipped to swell by some £10 billion over the next five years against a backdrop of improving economic conditions.

Rising household consumption, increasing national wages and falling unemployment are set to drive foodservice sales to £56.3 billion by the end of 2019.

Horizons’ managing director, Peter Backman, said that in 2014 the value of the foodservice sector saw a nominal growth, including inflation, of 3.8%, with real growth at 2.9%, giving it a current value of £46.6bn.

“More robust levels of consumer consumption have been prompted by the fact people are now less exposed to high levels of borrowing, are more certain of their jobs, and are buoyed by low inflation. This is great news for the eating out sector – and while it’s not racing ahead, it is growing at a higher level than we have seen since before the economic downturn,” he said.

“Overall things are looking good for the UK’s foodservice market with group operators driving much of that growth, in particular pizza delivery outlets, managed branded pubs, pub restaurants and coffee shops.”

Margins were improving, he said, giving operators money to invest, evident in a number of businesses changing hands, rebranding or expanding.

“The use of discounting and money-off vouchers has levelled off, with operators using them much more tactically to support particular events or occasions, such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day,” Backman added.

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