Trend for “food pleasure seekers”

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant

Spending increase of 6.6% for lunch sales
Spending increase of 6.6% for lunch sales
Premiumised informality, from street food to fine dining is now widespread across the restaurant sector, and this new era is being driven by food pleasure seekers, according to Allegra Foodservice’s latest report, The UK Restaurant Market 2014.

Income pressures impacting consumers and, despite continued dampened confidence with a decrease in disposable income, the research found that over the period 2012-14, spend increased 3% at breakfast, 6.6% at lunch and 6.9% at dinner.

Allegra Foodservice director Steve Gotham said: “This shows that consumer wish to indulge and forget when eating out. However, although the recession has eased, value seekers remain, and consumers expect value from every channel.  Discounting is still very prevalent among branded restaurants, with 46% of consumers claiming to use discount vouchers more often in the last 12 months.”

The report details that consumers most active in the restaurant sector are the younger demographic, aged 18-24.  However, Allegra Foodservice cautions operators, that given the ageing population, better engagement is required with older consumers.

The report found that fast food (new and traditional) is the strongest growing branded segment in the restaurant market with 12.4% sales growth and 7.6% outlet growth from 2013 to 2014. McDonald’s leads sales and outlet size within this channel, followed by KFC.

The branded restaurant channel also continues to perform strongly, supported by regular diners looking for convenience and familiarity, and achieved 6.1% growth between 2013 and 2014. Leading brands by turnover and outlets are Pizza Hut, Nando’s and PizzaExpress.

It also states that fine dining has become more accessible and more informal. Examples include Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Union Street Café by Gordon Ramsay.

Gotham said: “A rise in all day-dining has been led by growing demand from consumers to have ‘what they want, when they want it’. Offering food across all day-parts has contributed to this rise in casual dining. 

Allegra describes consumers as food pleasure seekers – “adventurous and passionate diners, looking for premium food at all price points and at every occasion."

Gotham said: “With foodie culture being exceptionally strong across the UK, in part fuelled by the dynamic operator landscape. Social media, blogs and review sites have increased consumer knowledge and made food trendy; consumers want to follow the foodie buzz.”

* For more information on Allegra Foodservice’s The UK Restaurant Market 2014 report, email Simon Stenning, Allegra Foodservice strategy director, at fvzba.fgraavat@nyyrten-sf.pb.hx​.

Related topics: Food trends

Related news

Show more