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Onboard catering market down in 2004

02 August 2005

The onboard catering market for trains and planes is diminishing in value as changes to passenger travel affects caterers.

A report by market researcher, Mintel International, found the market was down to £832m in 2004, from £886m in 2000.

In-flight catering has been hit by a reduction in the number of airlines providing meals, and an increase in the number of branded snacks and light meals being served.

Airline caterers are now focusing on first- and business-class meals and other onboard catering.

Although Mintel found that the majority of respondents to the survey had chosen to eat on board, more than half of consumers had done so only because it was included in the price.

The report also noticed that catering on trains would not necessarily be boosted by growing passenger numbers, as train operating companies were keen to remove restaurant cars, replacing them with trolley and buffet services.

A quarter of survey respondents said they brought their own food onto trains.

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