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Tue 7th Jun 2016 - Mintel – UK foodservice market rises 3.5% to £36bn as gourmet dining and sparkling wine sectors flourish
Mintel – UK foodservice market rises 3.5% to £36bn as gourmet dining and sparkling wine sectors flourish: The UK foodservice market rose nearly 3.5% to an estimated £36bn in 2015 as the gourmet dining and sparkling wine sectors flourish, a new report has revealed. The annual British Lifestyles’ report by Mintel said gourmet offerings helped sizzle up success in burger and chicken restaurants in 2015. A total of 7% of fast food visitors said they had switched to gourmet burger restaurants, which helped grow spending in the overall chicken and burger bar market by 5% in 2015 to reach £4.7bn. The rise of the “everyday foodie” is feeding the success of gourmet foodservice venues, the report said. One in three (34%) of diners consider themselves to be a “foodie”, while more than half (57%) of diners said they liked to experience new flavours. A “quality over quantity” mindset has caused sales of sparkling wine and craft beer to fizz. With 28% spending less on alcoholic drinks out of home and 22% spending less in-home, the report said it seemed when Brits did decide to spend, they preferred to treat themselves. This is reflected in the market’s performance in recent years – while volume growth has largely stagnated, value sales continued to rise, reaching £43bn in 2015. Notably, volume sales of sparkling wine grew by 14% in 2015 to reach 107 million litres (£1.3bn). What is more, “craft” labels are continuing to boost sales of beer, with the beer market worth £16.7bn in 2015. About one in six (16%) of Brits bought craft lager in the three months to November 2015, while 18% purchased a craft ale/bitter. Along with cordials and squashes, fruit juices and smoothies appear to have been hit by consumer concerns over sugar, with the non-alcoholic drinks market seeing growth of only 1% in 2015. One in nine (11%) of UK adults are buying less fruit juice or smoothies compared with six months previously. 34% of those buying less/not buying are doing so because of concerns over sugar, compared with 24% who have done so to save money. The report revealed the leisure and entertainment sector rose 3.7% to £30.22bn, while the holiday market was the best-performing market in 2015, rising 6.5% to reach an estimated £39.9bn. A quarter (27%) said they were most likely to buy themselves a holiday. The British Lifestyles’ report, which tracks spending across all major consumer markets, found total consumer expenditure in the UK reached £1,126bn in 2015, representing an increase of 1.7% on 2014. The uplift in spending comes as some are feeling more prosperous – one in four (26%) Brits said they were better off compared with a year ago. Meanwhile, more than half (53%) said they were about the same, while one in five (20%) said they were worse off. Almost four in ten (38%) of those with a household income of £50,000 or above said they felt better off compared with a year ago, compared with just 16% of those with an income of less than £9,500. Ina Mitskavets, senior consumer and lifestyles analyst at Mintel, said: “Britain’s economic growth over the past few years has outstripped many other major economies, and wages have been rising above inflation. Whilst there has not been a big improvement in overall consumer confidence, better-off Britons are clearly pulling away from the rest. Higher earners feel more confident about their finances and show more willingness to spend across more indulgent categories, such as leisure, holidays and foodservice.”

Leon launches new summer menu with a ‘gut feeling’: Natural fast food brand Leon launched its new summer menu today (Wednesday, 8 June), offering “more food that is good for our insides”. The menu introduces a Blueberry & Elderflower Kefir, a fermented shake full of nutrients and probiotics, plus the addition of turmeric to its Carrot, Apple & Ginger juice – a spice that has anti-inflammatory benefits and an ability to help people to better digest proteins and fats. The menu also sees the return of Lamb Kofte Salad, served with a pickle-kraut relish “packed with the power of plants and good-for-the-gut acids”. Leon has also introduced the Hot Smoked Salmon Superfood Salad after recently partnering with Wester Ross – an independent high welfare salmon farm in Scotland. Leon brand and marketing director Kirsty Saddler said: “We always start by thinking about what would really tickle the taste buds, and be new to the food scene. When we really focus on this and what we have set out to do as a brand, it will usually happen that the end result is good for you too.” A company spokeswoman added: “There has been a lot of research recently on how we digest, and all the findings show our guts do so much more than we have been giving them credit for. We have always known food is linked to happiness. Science is now showing that having a healthy gut is critical to the overall health and happiness of our whole body.” Leon operates 36 restaurants across the UK.

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