The value of commercial catering equipment sold in the UK during 2014 was £765m, according to a new report published this week.
AMA Research calculates the market grew by around 4% on the previous year, as the hospitality sector began to climb out of recession.
The figure is understood not to include services such as installation and after-sales repairs, which would likely drive the overall value of the catering equipment market to in excess of £1 billion based on previous estimates.
The company acknowledged that while the market is considered to be “mature” across all sectors, conditions have improved from 2009 and 2010 when the market declined by some 15% in total.
“The main factor supporting market growth of the catering equipment market since 2010 has been the overall improvement in the economy and the strong resilience of the restaurant sector,” said AMA. “Innovative concepts and new restaurant brands, along with an improvement in household spending on eating out has helped grow the catering sector — and therefore demand for catering equipment.”
It added that budgets for the NHS also remain secure along with educational catering, which received a shot in the arm through the UIFSM initiative last year.
Factors supporting market growth include product development creating added value features, higher hygiene standards, the requirement for smaller and more environmentally-friendly, sustainable products in response to tightening legislation, and the development of restaurant and hotel chains.
Factors negatively affecting market growth include increased price competition, particularly from lower value imports, and longer life-spans of products reducing replacement cycles.
Cooking equipment currently represents more than 50% of market value, and is the largest sector, due in part to the high cost of these products.
Refrigeration accounts for around 25% of sales — or £190m — with stainless steel fabrication, warewashing and other products making up the remaining market value.
The leading end-user is the hospitality sector, with restaurants, cafes and bars accounting for around 54% of the market. The remainder is accounted for by health and education, hotels and other sectors such as offices, leisure and retail.