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Wed 24th Sep 2014 - Pressure still on eating-out market says Allegra report
Pressure still on eating-out market as meals out continue to fall from 2012: Although eating-out participation among the UK adult population has grown for two straight quarters for the first time in two years, eating out frequency is still down on 2012, with the average number of meals consumed out of home per person lower in Q2 2014 than Q2 2012 across all day-parts, according to the latest Eating Out in the UK report from Allegra Foodservice. The decline has been more marked in lunch and dinner than breakfast. Allegra suggested that even as the economy showed growing signs of recovery, consumers were still feeling the pressure on their wallets and spending power. However, the research company said, expectations of strengthening economic growth, falling unemployment and modest inflation all bode well for an improved medium-term outlook for the UK eating-out market. While frequency has decreased for breakfast, lunch and dinner since Q2 2012, average spend is up across all day-parts. Rising input costs are driving up prices, and many consumers treat eating out as an indulgence worth spending money on. Consumers reported spending increases are highest at the lunch day-part in both percentage and absolute terms, with numbers bolstered by the inclusion of weekday and weekend figures. At the same time, younger demographics are eating out significantly more than older ones, with the average number of meals eaten out at close to 12 per month for 18-24 year olds against just over four per month for the 70-plus age group. However there is a higher spend among older demographics, which highlights the generational difference, the report said. While younger people visit restaurants more often, older demographics spend more. Allegra’s executive director, Simon Stenning, said: “Spend per occasion rises in a linear fashion, apart from a slight dip at 40 to 44-year-olds, until peaking at the 65-69 year old demographic. This shows how older consumers continue to see eating out as a special occasion, while younger people approach it in a more casual way.” Londoners eat out significantly more than all other regions, at an average of 12.05 meals per month, more than twice the amount of consumers in Wales. Many regions have higher spends per capita on breakfast than in London, including the East of England, where average spend is £5.17, against £4.46 for London. The sixth annual Eating Out report was compiled from sources including 2,000 online surveys with UK consumers conducted in first half 2014 and 36,000 responses from the Allegra Foodservice Eating Out Panel.

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