NPD Group forecasts GB out-of-home foodservice visits will grow 1.6% in 2016 to 11.4bn

Global information company The NPD Group is forecasting that the British out-of-home (OOH) foodservice market will grow visits by 1.6% in 2016 and a further 1.2% in 2017. NPD’s revised 1.6% forecast for 2016 is slightly higher than the 1.5% it predicted this time last year. This follows the 1.3% actual growth in out-of-home foodservice visits in Britain in 2015, the second consecutive year that the sector has recorded a rise in visits.

Total spend
The total spend in the British OOH market was £52.2bn for the year ending December 2015. Following this strong performance, NPD has revised its 2016 spend forecast up from £53.1bn to £53.5bn, and says this will increase further to £54.7bn in 2017. Its forecast for 2016 OOH visits is 11.4bn, a 1.6% increase over the actual figure for 2015. For 2017, it sees 11.5bn visits, a further small increase of 1.2%.

Channel 2016 NPD Group Forecast 2017 NPD Group Forecast
Casual dining Visits: 481m
Spend: £4.9bn
Visits: 495m
Spend: £5.1bn
QS Burger Visits: 1.05bn
Spend: £4.4bn
Visits: 1.09bn
Spend: £4.6
QS Coffee Visits: 656m
Spend: £2.3bn
Visits: 673m
Spend: £2.4bn

Cyril Lavenant, NPD’s director of foodservice for the UK, said: “It’s good to see that there was a bigger improvement in 2015 than anticipated, with the actual performance of 1.3% visit growth against our prediction of 1.1%. We are now forecasting 1.6% visit growth for 2016 due to increasingly confident consumers and a potential further boost from the UEFA EURO Championship and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. However, while 2017 will also see growth, it is likely that the pace will slow down. We do not see consumers increasing their spending in the foodservice sector any faster than this.”

Casual dining 
While growth in casual dining is strong, NPD says it will take another year before it breaks through the £5bn mark. Last year it predicted this would happen by the end of 2016, but with actual spend only reaching £4.7bn in 2015, NPD now believes this will happen more slowly, growing 5% to £4.9bn in 2016 and a further 4.5% in 2017 to reach £5.1bn. NPD says the slower rate of spend growth is due to casual dining having reached saturation point in the London market. The capital accounts for 20% of overall British foodservice industry spend and casual dining is a major channel within that. Recognizing the issue of London’s market saturation, casual dining operators have started to export their concept outside the M25.

QS Burger
NPD forecast last year that the QSR Burger segment would notch up 1.0bn visits in 2015 and 1.03bn in 2016. It also predicted £4.1bn sales in 2015 and £4.3bn in 2016. The actual 2015 performance was very close to this with visits for 2015 reaching 1.01bn and sales reaching £4.2bn. NPD has now revised its 2016 visits forecast upwards to 1.05bn, or 4% above the actual performance in 2015. It is tipping 1.09bn visits for 2017, which would be a 3.8% increase over 2016. For spend, NPD has a revised 2016 forecast of £4.4bn in 2016, a 4.8% jump above the 2015 actual figure, and £4.6bn for 2017, a further 4.7% increase. This positive trend and the upward revision of the forecast are a result of the sector’s continuous investment to increase the overall restaurant experience as well the quality of the food.

QS Coffee
NPD’s forecasts for QSR Coffee reflected the actual figures. It predicted 636m visits for 2015 and this matched the actual figure for the year exactly. Its forecast on spend was also accurate, with the actual figure coming in at £2.17bn slightly above its £2.16bn forecast. Its revised 2016 visits forecast is 656m, or 3.1% over the 2015 actual figure, and NPD sees a further jump in visits in 2017 to 673m, which would be 2.7% over the 2016 figure. This trend underlines the increasing fondness of British consumers for specialty coffee and their growing willingness to treat themselves throughout the day. NPD has also revised its QSR Coffee spend upwards to £2.3bn, a 4.5% increase over the 2015 actual figure. It also forecasts sales of £2.4bn in 2017, which would be 4.1% above 2016.