No sign of belt-tightening as British consumers will keep going out, according to Deloitte Taste of the Nation survey
2 August 2011
UK consumers anticipate no let up in their appetite to ‘go out’ to eat and drink, according to the results of a new survey conducted by Deloitte, the business advisory firm, and BDRC Continental.
The survey of 3,000 consumers revealed that despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the economic climate, they actually anticipate a slight increase (+1.4%) in the number of occasions they plan to go out to eat and drink over the next six months.
Respondents were questioned on their eating and drinking habits out of the home, taking 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. The results will shed a light on the size of the market and its opportunities for operators.
The survey reveals coffee and sandwich shops now account for one in three eating and drinking occasions (32%, of which 19% are drink-led and 13% food-led), eclipsing a trip to the pub (24% of occasions) or a bar (16%). Fast food outlets account for 14% of occasions, casual dining 7%, formal dining 4% and night clubs 3%.
Jon Lake, a corporate finance director in the licensed retail group at Deloitte, comments: “The results of this survey have helped us uncover evidence of what we've long suspected – eating and drinking out is much less dependent on overall consumer spending and confidence than it used to be. The findings demonstrate just how resilient British consumers are and their reluctance to reduce the frequency with which they go out, in particular the unfailingly optimistic 18 to 34 age group, or Generation Y.
“Whilst the coffee and sandwich shop is the most popular of destinations, currently, the main threat to the pub sector comes from bars, the more modern feel appealing to the tastes of the sociable Generation Y.
“Additionally, the finding that night club visits are expected to increase by 16% over the coming months, albeit from a low base, will be welcome relief for operators. The sector has had a torrid time over the past couple of years, and these figures indicate the bottom of the market for clubs may have been reached.”
According to the findings, any growth within the sector will be driven by the food-led occasion, as opposed to drink-led, and Generation Y. The 18 to 34 year age group anticipate a 5.1% increase in the number of times they will be going out over the coming months. By contrast, baby boomers, perhaps concerned with changes to their personal finance situation, and inherently more cautious than Generations X and Y, are predicting a tightening of their purse strings with a 3.3% drop in going out occasions by the autumn.
A healthy concern?
When it comes to healthy eating when dining out, counting calories is still secondary for consumers to having a free rein when choosing from the menu. Over half of respondents (58%) said they eat more healthily when dining at home than when they go out for a meal. By contrast, just 5% said the reverse. 39% agreed calorie counts on menus would influence their food selection.
Lake comments: “This will be a very interesting figure to follow over the coming months. A quarter of the respondents to our survey said they were neutral to the idea of calorie counts printed on menus. But as restaurants across the UK implement a scheme to show this information, they could come round to the idea.”
Other key findings from the Taste of the Nation survey include:
Notes to Editors
About the report
Together with BDRC Continental, Deloitte has launched a new consumer going out survey, The Taste of the Nation, which explores the trends that will shape the future for the industry. The report looks at the trends and patterns of consumers’ going out habits, and sheds 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 April to May 2011, and comprised strong representation from all UK regions (excluding Northern Ireland), as well as different age and gender groups.
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 www.deloitte.co.uk/about 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.
BDRC Continental is staffed by highly experienced researchers with great reputations in their individual fields as well as in the market research industry. The company is renowned for its consultative approach and ability to add value to clients’ businesses by bringing insights from multiple markets to the research. This cross-disciplinary approach enables BDRC Continental to provide intelligence that is informed by a deep understanding of the client’s issues and the wider market context. As well as undertaking bespoke research for a wide variety of clients, the company conducts a number of syndicated studies and has developed proprietary techniques including Tracktion, Grapevine, Service Intensity, the Business Opinion Omnibus, SME Finance Monitor and ZMET Visionary Thinking.www.bdrc-continental.com