Eating out at restaurants and other food outlets has grown for the third quarter running, but this doesn’t necessarily mean consumers have totally relaxed their food budgets, according to BPEX.
Commenting on data from market researchers, NPD Crest, which showed visits to restaurants increased by 1%, year-on-year, during Q2, 2014, BPEX noted the possible impact of good weather on consumers’ dining choices.
“Good weather is known to encourage eating out and is likely to have contributed to the growth that has occurred so far this year,” said BPEX. “The true test will be whether growth continues into the next two quarters.”
Despite this cautionary note, the Q2 increase was equivalent to an additional 130 million eating-out visits, worth an extra £1 billion to the food industry.
With fast-food outlets gaining most from the increase, however, the largest sector growth was for beef, which grew by 4%, primarily through increased burger purchases. Pork, although still holding the largest meal choice, saw sales decline by 2%.