The value of the overall eating out market in the UK fell by 13% to £29.3b in the year to September, but some segments flourished despite the downturn, research has revealed.
The study, based on research firm FMCG's regular QuickBite surveys of more than 1,000 consumers, showed that the bottom end of the market, where consumers typically spend up to £5 for a meal or snack out of home, was worst hit.
Typical constituents of this segment are fast food outlets, workplace meals and coffee shops, sandwich bars and bakeries. Some 18 months ago this segment accounted for almost 40% of the market by volume and now accounts for 34%.
But the study showed there had been some successes, most notably the premium casual segment (average spend £17 - £23 per meal) which achieved double digit growth. FMCG attributed this growth to mainstream casual consumers trading up whilst eating out less often.
The other big winner over the year was Chinese food, led by growth in Chinese takeaways, which achieved £5b worth of sales.
Some of this growth has been at the expense of the pub, with many consumers switching from pub meals to takeaways, FMCG said. Pubs have also been hit by the ‘Two for One' deals offered by a large number of the major branded restaurant chains.
The top end restaurant segment (average spend £29+) has also seen volume fall.
By Daniel Thomas
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