Local restaurants and takeaways are losing out to supermarkets, which have enjoyed 46 million more out-of-home eating visits in 2012 compared with three years ago.
The rise in the number of supermarket chains opening convenience or c-stores is likely to be a major threat to restaurants and takeaway operators, according to global information company the NPD Group, which carried out the research.
The primary motivation for out-of-home eating visits to supermarkets was "didn't want to cook/nothing at home", accounting for an additional 28 million more visits to a supermarket in 2012 compared with 2009.
Guy Fielding, director of business development for the NPD Group, explained: "Previously more traditional restaurants would typically benefit from people not wanting to cook or having nothing in, but more and more consumers are answering this need with a trip to a supermarket; in many cases choosing the smaller local c-stores with their extensive prepared ready-to-eat meals and snacks."
He continued: "As supermarkets continue to expand in numbers, neighbouring foodservice businesses should expect direct competition from these operators, especially as their product mix and deal/promotion strategies are refined and adapted to the local trade."
But Fielding went to argue that restaurant and takeaway operators can fight back by focusing on their lunch offers and considering the provision of inside and outside seating.
"As most supermarkets lack on-premises seating facilities, foodservice operators have a great opportunity to capitalise on on-premises seating, a factor that continues to be an advantage for most high street operators," he said.
•Deal/promotion occasions, accounting for 64.2 million more supermarket visits in 2012
•Snacking occasions, accounting for 27 million more visits in 2012
•Breakfast occasions, accounting for 15.6 m million more visits in 2012
•Dinner occasions, accounting for 3.8 million more visits in 2012