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Deloitte Taste of the Nation

Londoners, Generation Y stay in more; while women and rest of UK keep on socialising

3 December 2012

  • Generation Y going out 3.7% less often each month;
  • London suffers a blip, down 9% versus six months ago, but bounce-back expected;
  • Overall consumers are still going out more often with visits up 3%;
  • Women are going out more often, 17.9 times on average per month, compared with 15 six months ago;
  • Average spend per head continues to increase in all areas except quick service and casual dining;
  • Challenging Christmas on the cards as consumers predict an 8% drop in going out occasions over the festive period versus 2011.

Generation Y consumers (18-34 year olds) have reduced the number of times they are going out to eat and drink by 3.7% in the last six months, according to the latest Taste of the Nation report from Deloitte, the business advisory firm, and BDRC Continental.  There was also a sharp decline in the average number of occasions Londoners went out between spring and autumn, down 9% from 31.1 to 25.7 visits on average per month.

However, the dip seen in Generation Y and London consumers has been offset by stronger activity elsewhere in the UK and by women going out increasingly often.  

Jon Lake, a corporate finance director in the licensed retail group at Deloitte, comments: “Despite the cautious mood, and a period containing numerous activities, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee weekend, consumers across the UK have continued to go out more often.  London has traditionally been a strong driver of growth and remains robust.  The slowdown in the capital over the past six months can almost certainly be attributed to these one-off factors and unseasonably wet weather.”

Some of the other key findings of the latest Taste of the Nation survey, include:

  • On average UK consumers are now going out 20.4 times a month, a 3.1% increase when compared to 19.8 times six months ago;
  • Consumers in the Midlands are going out on average 21 times a month, up 13.1% from when they were asked in the spring (18.6 times);
  • Those in the South West are going out 15.3% more often, up to 18 occasions on average per month from 15.6;
  • The slowdown in London is expected to be only temporary with the proportion of frequent casual diners (those who eat out two to three times per week) set to increase over the next six months as Londoners revert to more established modes of behaviour;
  • Women are going out on average 17.9 times a month, up from 15 times six months ago.  Men are still going out more often at 22.9 times a month, however this is 6% less than in the spring;
  • With the exception of quick service outlets (down from £6.21 to £5.97) and casual dining (from £13.65 to £13.17), all areas of the market have seen a growth in average spend per visit since the same time last year.  The formal dining market in particular saw average spend increase from £22.85 to £25.65;
  • Although Generation Y is planning to go out 8% more often this Christmas compared to last, overall consumers are predicting an 8% reduction in going out occasions over the festive season.  The outlook for the next six months is stable with respondents predicting a modest 0.5% decline.

Ben Perkins, head of consumer business research at Deloitte, says: “The slow return of consumer confidence is reflected in the gentle, yet constant, pace of growth in the eating and drinking out market.  However, that confidence remains fragile.  A cautious consumer mindset prevails and is dependent on a number of external factors such as the economy, inflation and job security.  If the country experiences a hard winter, this too will impact the sector.  As such, growth over the coming period is expected to be steady rather than spectacular.”


Notes to Editors:

About the report
Taste of the Nation, produced by Deloitte, together with BDRC Continental, explores the trends and patterns of consumers’ eating and drinking habits out of the home.  It takes into consideration every time they purchase drink or food from a pub, bar, coffee/sandwich shop, fast food outlet, restaurant or club, whether it be a sit-in or takeaway occasion, shedding light on the size of the market and its opportunities.  

The survey was completed by a nationally representative sample of 3,000 British adults, during October 2012, and comprised strong representation from all UK regions (excluding Northern Ireland), as well as different age and gender groups.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

About BDRC Continental
BDRC Continental is the UK’s largest independent market research agency. Established in 1991, the company has built an unrivalled reputation as a full service consultancy with specialist expertise across a number of sectors including business to business, financial services, hotels, meetings & hospitality, media & advertising, internet & telecoms, Government & not for profit, culture & leisure and tourism, travel & transport.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Media contacts

Celine Gordine-Wright
Deloitte LLP
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+44 (0) 20 7007 6384

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