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Over-40’s Help Foodservice Feast

Some 72% of UK adults now regularly eat out and signs are that this figure is set to increase, according to a new report.

Research by foodservice information consultancy Horizons reveals that while food and drink sales through the eating out sector rose to a value of £42.8bn in 2011, there had been an actual decline when inflation was taken into account. This is set to change with an at least 1% growth over the next 18 months.

The company’s managing director Peter Backman explains: “By the end of this year, sales will return to 2006 levels and by 2013, they will get back to 2008 levels. The population is growing, particularly amongst the restaurant using over-40s, and employment is starting to rise. This is all good news for a sector that has performed better than the retail sector and emerged fairly unscathed from the downturn.”

The report predicts the biggest growth area will be the casual dining sector, where the average spend is now between £10 and £20. Currently worth some £1.9bn, casual dining is expected to grow by 3% this year. Adds Peter: “This sector offers what the customer wants at a price they can afford and continues to adapt and change its offers to keep customers interested.”

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