Overall, the eating out market is showing resilience even amid economic and political uncertainty in the U.K. In the year ending June 2017, traffic grew by 0.7 percent, showing consumers are still visiting the foodservice market despite continued pressure on their disposable income. However, looking at Q2 17 vs. Q1 17, traffic growth slowed from 1.0 percent to 0.5 percent.
Lunch is the largest daypart in terms of traffic; it accounts for 34 percent of all visits to the total out-of-home market. Growing by a healthy 2.8 percent on a year-end basis, Q2 showed the first decline in seven quarters (-0.6 percent).
Are more and more consumers taking their lunches to work with them? This would be an easy way for consumers to save money, and challenging economic times often trigger changes in consumer habits. The coming months will tell us if this is the case. In the meantime, operators need to ensure they counteract this traffic decline by providing appealing and affordable lunch options for consumers.
Since 1975, CREST®, NPD's flagship information service for the foodservice industry, has monitored all aspects of how consumers use restaurants and foodservice by rigorously tracking visits to commercial and non-commercial foodservice establishments. CREST arms manufacturers and operators with market dynamics from the consumer perspective, allowing them to monitor the total foodservice industry or examine specific segments, categories, chains, or food items. CREST tracks consumer foodservice usage in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.