Lunchtime dining drives catering equipment growth

The value of the UK’s lunch market is set to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the eating out market, says foodservice consultancy Horizons.

Emma Read, director of marketing and business development at Horizons told an audience at a seminar at today’s Lunch! trade show in London, that the market was growing at a rate of 3.3%.

“Britain’s lunch market is worth £14.9bn, that’s 35% of the total foodservice market. Growth over the past few years has outperformed what is essentially a flat market overall. Lunch business has risen by 3.3% on 2009 figures. We expect this growth to continue and expect the lunch market to account for closer to 36% of the total foodservice sector by 2014,” said Read.

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“Driving the lunch market is the fact that time-pressed consumers no longer make their own lunch, preferring quick options wherever they are. They are also prompted to eat out by money-off vouchers and meal deals, many of which are predominantly lunch-based. Work pressure also means that consumers are more likely to opt for a takeaway to eat at their desk,” added Read.

Catering equipment manufacturers and dealers need to keep pace with a trend that is seeing consumers demand more for less money from their outlets.

“Across the board consumers are becoming more discerning and particular about how they spend their money. They have high expectations and expect good quality food, friendly service and a relaxed ambience. While consumers have continued to eat out throughout the downturn, our research shows they are only willing to do so when an outlet meets these high expectations and the price is right,” Read concluded.

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