The ageing UK population will continue to have a positive impact on the eating out market, according to a new report from the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) and Allegra Strategies.
The report, entitled Taste of the Future 2020, which surveyed more than 100 UK foodservice consultants revealed that the frequency of eating out will be significantly higher by 2020.
Consumer quality expectations will rise and new areas of demand and growth are expected to open up as niche cuisines and unique dining experiences become more popular.
The report also revealed that by 2020, the quality of the product would mean more to consumers than it does today. Quality of service will also be increasingly important.
The popular food choice landscape will change with healthy eating, SE Asian, British, premium chicken and global fusion categories rising in popularity to replace today's top five choices (Italian, burgers, Indian, Chinese and fried chicken).
The report also found that 69% of those surveyed indicated that British-sourced food will increasingly determine where consumers eat out of home, with 60% saying consumers will demand more locally sourced menu choices.
Outlets that deliver unique concepts will win in 2020 with new fast food (59%), street food (55%) and pop-up restaurants (51%) being identified as the fastest growing businesses to watch.
Niccola Boyd-Stevenson, chairman of FCSI UK & Ireland, said: "What our report has highlighted is that our foodservice market presents significant opportunities for operators and suppliers alike. Over the next seven years we will see a reshaping of the market with the frequency of eating out becoming significantly higher, new areas of demand including greater emphasis on healthier eating and new, global cuisines. Our ageing population will also have a dramatic influence on the industry.
"However, it's not all plain sailing. Operators and suppliers will face substantial challenges with greater market consolidation and higher food prices putting even more pressure on operating costs. Skill shortages will become even more of an issue for our industry."
Simon Stenning, foodservice strategy director, Allegra Strategies commented: "This report has given us, as an industry, a unique look at what the future holds and will help operators, manufacturers and executives across the board prepare for some challenging but rewarding times ahead. To succeed in 2020, operators will have to offer something special, with experiences that excite and deliver first class product quality and service."