Global information company The NPD Group is forecasting that the British out-of-home (OOH) foodservice market will grow visits by 1.6% in 2016 and a further 1.2% in 2017.

NPD’s revised 1.6% forecast for 2016 is slightly higher than the 1.5% it predicted this time last year.

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This follows the 1.3% actual growth in OOH foodservice visits in Britain in 2015, the second consecutive year that the sector has recorded a rise in visits.

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The total spend in the British OOH market was £52.2bn for the year ending December 2015.

Following this strong performance, NPD has revised its 2016 spend forecast up from £53.1bn to £53.5bn, and says this will increase further to £54.7bn in 2017.

Its forecast for 2016 OOH visits is 11.4bn, a 1.6% increase over the actual figure for 2015. For 2017, it sees 11.5bn visits, a further small increase of 1.2%.

Cyril Lavenant, NPD’s director of foodservice for the UK, said: “It’s good to see that there was a bigger improvement in 2015 than anticipated, with the actual performance of 1.3% visit growth against our prediction of 1.1%.

“We are now forecasting 1.6% visit growth for 2016 due to increasingly confident consumers and a potential further boost from the UEFA Euro Championship and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“However, while 2017 will also see growth, it is likely that the pace will slow down. We do not see consumers increasing their spending in the foodservice sector any faster than this.”

While growth in casual dining is strong, NPD says it will take another year before it breaks through the £5bn mark.