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Thu 21st Sep 2017 - Britain’s over-50s spend £6bn as they show growing appetite for eating lunch out
Britain’s over-50s spend £6bn as they show growing appetite for eating lunch out: Britain’s over-50s accounted for one billion lunch visits for the year ending June 2017, spending £6bn over the period, according to new research by insights firm NPD Group. The data suggested Britain’s older consumers could support growth in the eat-out lunch business in future years. Compared with the year ending June 2008, visits are up 6% while total spend is up some 12%. NPD Group said consumers over 50 can be expected to contribute to the growth of Britain’s food delivery revolution, and could be a catalyst to the development of new food choices that are better suited to the needs of people as they grow elder. Cyril Lavenant, foodservice director UK at the NPD Group, said: “The over-50s demographic in Britain will grow in size and become wealthier, more active and more experimental than previous generations. For anybody running a business in Britain’s £54bn foodservice industry, there’s a distinct ‘over-50s opportunity’. People in late middle age and older will respond well to the innovative approach we see on Britain’s high streets to lunchtime eating. The over-50s represent an excellent target for the foodservice industry and will definitely play a bigger role in the growing popularity of eating lunch out of home.” The wider lunch occasion is already growing faster than the overall eat-out market. The four billion overall lunch visits (both on-premise and off-premise) for year ending June 2017 were up 3% on the same period a year earlier. This compares well with the resilient 1% visit growth seen in the total British out-of-home foodservice market in year ending June 2017. But the lunch to go segment (food consumed off the premises) is doing even better with 4% growth. NPD Group said the growing popularity of eating lunch on the go could generate nearly 2.2bn visits annually to foodservice operators by the end of 2019, an increase of 11% over the nearly two billion visits recorded for year ending June 2017. Lunch to go could soon account for 53% of overall lunch visits and 19% of all out-of-home visits in Britain each year. Lavenant added: “Modest or zero wage growth coupled with rising inflation has prompted many consumers to trade down from dinner where we now see declining visits. Lunch meanwhile has strong appeal because it is affordable, and offers high quality and an enormous choice of formats and cuisines whether it is consumed on or off the premises. There’s absolutely no doubt that lunch is an increasingly relevant offer for consumers. Foodservice operators have also made their lunch products more attractive through time-saving technology such as contactless payment and click-and-collect apps.” The research also showed the click-and-collect market is small but growing quickly, accounting for 56 million quick-service restaurant (QSR) visits for year ending June 2017, up 25% on the same period a year earlier. NPD Group said click-and-collect at lunchtime appeals to consumers because it avoids the extra charge for delivery. The average bill for an out-of-home lunch in Britain is £3.56 (year ending June 2017) but delivery can increase this significantly. NPD Group said foodservice operators have shown they fully understand the intense competition in Britain’s foodservice industry and are disrupting and innovating to win business. It said in the lunch market, top retailers and QSR chains, as well as smaller independents, are increasingly responding well to the demand for balanced eating by offering vegetarian and vegan choices, superfoods, organic products, reduced calories and sugar, as well as meat substitutes. They are also meeting consumer expectations for new tastes and experiences by using foods high in protein, antioxidants and omega 3. NPD Group added Britain’s over-50s are welcoming these new opportunities to enjoy balanced eating during lunch away from home.

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