UK consumers' growing appetite for fast food shows no sign of being sated this year, according to foodservice analyst Horizons FS.
Despite a slew of annual resolutions to improve health, UK punters are set to keep burger chain McDonald's safely at the top of the food service tree with 2008's spending on fast food set to beat last year's.
In 2007 UK consumers spent £82 per head in fast food restaurants (2006: £77.37) and Horizons predicts this growth will continue with the likes of McDonald's and Burger King to benefit.
McDonald's, Europe's largest food service company by turnover, has seen average spend per head increase from €15.47 (£11.45) in 2005 to €16.54 (£12.24) in 2006 as a result of increased fast food consumption.
This lifted its European sales from €11.9b (£8.8b) in 2005 to €12.7b (£9.4b) in 2006.
Peter Backman, Horizons analyst, said: "Europe is moving in the direction of the USA in terms of spend on fast food."
Backman added that despite there being plenty of opportunity for fast food service growth it in Europe it was unlikely for cultural and organisational reasons that sales in the territory would ever match those of the USA.
The total eating out market in Europe is worth €349b (£258m) according to Horizons with the top ten food service companies accounting for €39.6b (£29.32m) of this.
Top 10 food service operators in Europe
|Sales in €b||2005||2006|
|Rank in 2006|
|5||Mitchells & Butlers||2.4||2.5|
|9||LSG Sky Chefs||1.4||1.4|