By Cyril Lavenant
Executive Director Foodservice UK
The NPD Group
Eating out-of-home traffic in the U.K. grew by just 0.4 percent in Q3 2016, while the average amount paid for a meal grew by 1.8 percent. This was driven by an increase in the average price per item, which rose consistently throughout 2016, up 2.1 percent in Q3 alone. These price rises were across all items. The average price of a visit involving a beef burger increased 2.7 percent, and visits with carbonated soft drinks were up nearly 10 percent.
Given the continuing political and economic uncertainty, we expect this trend to continue. Operators must ensure they are showcasing their products’ quality and freshness so customers continue to feel they are getting value for money.
These price increases are in line with recent hikes in inflation that are forecast to continue. No one in the foodservice industry is immune, as prices have increased across all commercial segments, driven up especially by full service restaurants and travel & leisure. This has had a particular impact on younger age groups: Under 24s have reduced eating out-of-home visits by 4 percent.
Since 1975, CREST®, NPD's flagship information service, 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.