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UK's ageing population 'will change future dining-out trends'

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A new report suggests the UK's ageing population may stand to benefit the eating out industry, according to the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) and Allegra Strategies.

In the Taste of the Future 2020 report, the firms surveyed over 100 foodservice consultants in the country and they found the frequency of how often people eat out will be much higher by 2020.

The study discovered the quality expectations of consumers will increase as this happens, creating new areas for growth and demand within the sector. It is suggested niche markets for certain cuisine and more unique dining approaches could prove popular with an audience that eats out more.

This may prove important to all sectors related to dining, as it highlights areas predicted to grow and those that are not. The report refers to fast food, street food and pop-up restaurants as the fastest growing sub-sectors and kitchen equipment suppliers will want to watch closely.

Chairman of FCSI UK and Ireland Niccola Boyd-Stevenson said: "However, it's not all plain sailing. Operators and suppliers will face substantial challenges with greater market consolidation and higher food prices putting even more pressure on operating costs. Skill shortages will become even more of an issue for our industry."

By 2020, it also suggests the quality of product or food would be more important than today's standards, with service being a key area.

In terms of actual food consumed, the popular options will change inline with healthy eating habits. FCSI and Allegra Strategies expect British chicken, south-east Asian and global fusion food categories to become more popular and common place, replacing the biggest five choices of Italian, burgers, Indian, fried chicken and Chinese meals found today.

Of respondents, 69 per cent also believed utilising food sourced in Britain will become a deciding factor in choosing where to eat out - 60 per cent predict customers will ask for locally sourced options on their menus.

Foodservice strategy director for Allegra Strategies Simon Stenning said: "To succeed in 2020, operators will have to offer something special, with experiences that excite and deliver first class product quality and service."ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801649718-ADNFCR

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