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Snacks to 'drive food service growth'

02 | 05 | 13

Snacks are becoming an increasingly important part of the food service industry, according to new figures from Horizons. 

Its latest research, which will be of interest to catering equipment companies, found that snacks accounted for 22 per cent of the £32.8 billion worth of food sales in 2012.

This is an increase of 4.4 per cent on the year before, Caterer and Hotelkeeper reports.

Breakfast has grown in importance, making up nine per cent of the market, up from 4.4 per cent in 2011.

Lunch also increased slightly, rising by 0.6 per cent to account for 45 per cent of all sales.

However, dinner sales have suffered, dropping by 2.1 per cent to 37 per cent of the market.

Peter Backman, Horizons managing director, said this was a result of more people agreeing to meet over lunch rather than dinner, as well as adopting a faster and more casual approach to eating out.

"Snacks is an area of the day that is opening up hugely, along with breakfasts.

"We reckon both will show substantial growth over the next two years. Lunch is also looking up, partly as a response to people going out at lunchtime," he stated.

Mr Backman said many operators have chosen to respond to tough market conditions by modifying and opening up the parts of the day in which they serve food. 

He also predicted casual dining, coffee businesses, pub/restaurants and managed food-led pubs will have a successful year. 

Independent, leased and tenanted pubs, as well as caterers in the healthcare and education sectors are expected to struggle.

Horizons predicted that meal purchases in the staff catering sector will fall by around 5.4 per cent during 2013.

Mr Backman said he expected the overall food service industry, which was worth £44.1 billion in 2012, not to reach its peak 2007 levels again until 2016.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801580473-ADNFCR

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