Contract catering market valued at £3 billion

The contract catering market in the UK is now worth £3 billion a year, according to new research.

Market analysis firm Apex Insight claims market growth this year is being driven by outsourcing and the Olympics but warned of “uncertainties” in key segments.

In a summary highlighting the report, Apex said: “Future market growth is likely given continued outsourcing of catering in segments, such as the public sector, where significant in-house provision remains. The Olympics, which is expected to require around 14 million meals to be served, should provide a significant windfall gain in 2012.”

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But it noted that contract catering has been hit by the economic downturn, in particular through declining employment levels leading to fewer people in the workplace requiring to be fed.

“Furthermore, there is uncertainty in key segments such as healthcare, where it is not yet clear how the residential care needs of an aging population will be paid for, and education, where increases in student numbers may stall given recent changes to university funding,” it said.

Apex’s study is based on data from economic and company sources as well as interviews with senior-level contacts in the market.

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