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Catering Market

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Fast food and takeaways may benefit from the recession...
Key Note Market Review
While some sectors of the catering market are currently facing some of the most difficult trading conditions they have encountered for many years, the fast-food and takeaways sector may see some benefits from the economic slowdown in the UK. Catering Market, a new Market Review from market intelligence provider Key Note, examines the impact of the recession and other trends on the market sectors which make up the catering industry.
Due to its product appeal and 'value-for-money' positioning in the market, the fast-food and takeaways sector may be better placed to weather the economic recession in the UK than some other segments of the catering market. Indeed, confidence is such that a number of the leading companies in the fast-food sector have announced that their outlet expansion plans will be maintained in 2009. Fast-food chains may also gain from the credit crunch by attracting consumers that are trading down from the casual-dining outlets.
Key Note's Market Review found that growth in catering sales was recorded in all sectors of the catering market in 2008. Fast food and takeaways exhibited the highest annual growth rate, at 4.5%, and licensed clubs recorded the lowest annual growth rate, at 2.1%. In overall terms, the UK catering market increased in value by 3.8% to reach £33.84bn at current retail selling prices (rsp) in 2008.
Within the pub-restaurant sector, the economic downturn has affected consumer confidence and heavy discounting in the off-licence trade has encouraged consumers to stay at home. The business environment for operators in this sector may well become even more challenging in 2009, as the full impact of rising unemployment, increasing negative housing equity and continued high levels of consumer debt is felt.

Fast food and takeaways may benefit from the recession...
Contract caterers and foodservice management companies are hopeful that more companies will now outsource their catering requirements, rather than provide them in-house, in order to reduce costs and help them to survive the downturn. Key Note forecasts that the sectors of the market that will perform best in 2009 include that of fast food and takeaways and holiday camps and villages and caravan and camping sites. By contrast, restaurant sales may decline a little compared with 2008, while catering sales through licensed clubs are expected to remain static.
Key Note identifies an increased focus on value meals by operators such as the pub-restaurant chains as being a future trend. Continued significant declines in on-trade beer volumes and a contraction in the eating-out market, in line with decreases in disposable incomes, will lead operators to increase promotion of value meals in order to maintain sales.

Press enquiries: Lisa Ivey at Key Note at or 020 8481 8750. Press/review copies of the report are available on request.

Notes to editors:
Key Note's 2009 Market Review - Catering Market - defines catering as the commercial provision of prepared food and/or drink to people who are away from their homes, for consumption shortly after purchase. The core markets in the UK catering industry are: restaurants; fast food and takeaways; contract catering and foodservice management; hotels; and public houses. Other sectors with a significant catering element include licensed clubs (such as casinos and nightclubs), holiday camps and villages, and caravan and camping sites. Excluded from the report are the institutional catering markets that are supplied by in-house catering units, rather than commercial enterprises. These include central and local government catering and the meals supplied by Social Services departments.
The Market Review includes the findings of an exclusive consumer survey into the occasions when consumers choose to eat out. The survey was conducted in by NEMS Market Research in December 2008 on behalf of Key Note. The survey was carried out by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults in Great Britain, aged 16 and over.
Key Note Ltd has been providing commercially relevant market information to libraries, academia and businesses for almost 30 years. With over 1,000 titles available across 30 market sectors, and new or updated titles published every month, Key Note is one of the UK's most prolific and respected market intelligence providers. Within the range, some reports are written in response to particular market conditions, whereas other reports will be produced regularly year on year.
The 2009 Market Review - Catering Market - is available to purchase from Key Note on 020-8481 8750, by e-mail at or at, priced £750.