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Fast-Food and Home-Delivery Outlets, a new Market Update from market intelligence provider Key Note, has revealed that demand for fast food is high across the country, with several chains, including KFC and McDonald's, each reporting profits above projected figures in the past year. This is good news for McDonald's, in particular, as it finds itself in ever-fiercer competition with rival chain Subway, a sandwich chain that overtook the number of restaurants McDonald's had operating in the UK 3 years ago, in 2008.
McDonald's has been actively fighting back against Subway, which presents itself as a 'healthier' alternative to fast food; similar chains Burger King and KFC have also been forced to diversify, including salads in their menus to retain or gain health-conscious consumers. Pizza Hut has undergone similar diversification, including salad bars and adding pasta options to its menu in order to appease lobbyists from the Government and the public, who say that fast food and fast-food chains are detrimental to the health of the nation and especially to children.
However, it would seem that such consumers may be few and far between; despite Government campaigns that are attempting to get the general public to eat less of these foods to improve the nation's health, the industry has increased in value year-on-year since 2006. Over the past 5 years, the fast-food and home-delivery market grew by by 16.4%, with the sandwiches sector performing particularly well in response to shifting eating patterns driving growth.
Even a ban on advertising fast food and other foods high in ingredients such as fat, sugar and salt on children's television, or the direct marketing of the foodstuffs to children, has not really had a negative impact on the market, despite recent local Government intervention that has prevented outlets being opened within a certain distance of schools.
Nor have consumers been put off by the recession; if anything, the turbulent economic background has benefited the market, owing to the fact that the food is cheap. Furthermore, consumers deciding to eat and entertain themselves in their own homes, instead of spending money on nights out, have resulted in an increase in the uptake of home delivery.
However, it is not to say that the market is invulnerable. One sector, fish and chips, has not had as good a 5 years as the rest of the sectors, due to falling uptake among consumers who may have been put off by the increase in the price of cod thanks to EU fishing quotas limiting supplies and other alternatives, such as hake, not matching the popularity of cod. However, despite a dip in 2010, it is predicted to return to growth in 2011 and from then onwards, driven partly by the increase in the price of cod.
The UK's population is predicted to increase to 64.3 million by 2015, which bodes well for demand for fast food. Unemployment is also expected to fall over the next 5 years, giving consumers more spending power, and the rate of inflation is also expected to drop, which could make food cheaper and even more easily financially accessible for many. For this reason, Key Note predicts a continued increase in the value of the market up until 2015, when it should be worth approximately £11.86bn.
Press enquiries: Jack Sykes at Key Note at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0845-504 0452. Press/review copies of the report are available on request.