Pub groups and casual dining chains tipped to win industry’s battle royal

Greene King chef

Industry research house NPD Group is predicting that the British foodservice market will grow by 1.1% in 2015 and 1.5% in 2016.

The analyst firm said momentum is “well underway” following the 0.9% growth in out-of-home (OOH) foodservice visits in Britain 2014, the first rise in many years.

NPD has just completed a comprehensive report on the future of the British foodservice market and is predicting the rise of six ‘star’ players: casual dining, quick-service operators serving chicken, pizza/Italian, burgers and coffee, and the hotel channel.

NPD says three key important consumer trends are impacting the foodservice industry. Firstly, thanks to a brighter economy, consumers are looking to treat themselves and their children. Secondly, they want more choice and diversity and are much more willing to try something new. Thirdly, when consumers go out to eat, they want a ‘full experience’ and the sense of a ‘social or family occasion’.

These trends will impact foodservice channels in different ways with the branded channels enjoying better growth potential than the independents, according to NPD.

It says consumers will continue to seek value across the board and predicts that pubs are set to overtake the FSR channel, driven by the top chain brands. Pubs will notch up 1.29 billion visits by the end 2016 against 1.18 billion visits for the FSR channel.

NPD Group is also bullish about the casual dining segment, which it says is “exceptionally well positioned” to meet core consumer needs for something that combines newness and diversity with the opportunity for a family-oriented treat.

Casual dining will outgrow all other channels and achieve spend of well over £5 billion by end 2016, finishing at 13.7% ahead of the casual dining spend recorded end of 2014.

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