The out-of-home food sector saw good growth in the year to March 2017, with pork increasingly becoming the dish of choice for those eating out.
According to NPD CREST the value of the industry is more than £54 billion, increasing by 2.9% year-on-year. Eating out is one way in which increasing numbers of consumers are saving time, particularly for breakfast and lunch occasions.
Research has pointed to consumers spending more time commuting to and from work and more time spent in the workplace. For many, time is becoming a scarce resource in modern life, one that they are looking for ways to reclaim.
In the year to March 2017, 6.6 billion out of-home servings of proteins were made in the UK, an increase of 255 million servings compared to the previous year. 40% of out-of-home eating occasions included a protein. Over the last two quarters pork and beef are being chosen more often by those eating out, pork is now in 16.2% of meal occasions and beef 14.2%.
Proteins associated with breakfast have been an important part of the growth for total pork over the last year. Bacon servings increased by 11% to 904 million and sausages by 6% to 437 million.
A significant contributor to beef sales has been burgers, 960 million of which were sold in foodservice, an increase of 24 million. Both pork and beef are benefiting from the growth in popularity of Quick Service Restaurants, which is the biggest out-of-home food channel.
Foodservice outlets are responding to changes in the way UK consumers want to eat. It is important those involved in the supply chain from the farm upwards also understand their customers and consumer trends. There are opportunities for farmers, foodservice is growing market and one that they should be involved with. Please note though, the fortunes of foodservice have in the past been matched to the economy and consumer confidence. Any downturn may affect the performance of this sector.