Snacks in transit as meal 'catch up'

Related tags United kingdom

More hours spent commuting in today's hectic society mean more
possibities for eating and drinking in transit, with the UK and
Germany coming out on top, writes a new report from market analysts

At 6.4 per person per day, British commuters have the highest number of journeys in Europe and spend an average of over one hour travelling every day. Time free to eat and drink.

'This is largely responsible for the fact that the per capita expenditure of 'on-the-move' foods and drinks in the UK is Europe's highest at £229 per year,'​ claims the report.

According to the researchers, who define commuting periods as 'personal time', people now treat public space as if it were private. "This growing willingness to multi-task during journeys encourages on-the-move consumption,"​ said Lawrence Gould, author of the report.

The Germans and the British are Europe's leading on-the-move consumers. With a market value of £15bn in 2003, the German market for on-the-move food and drink is the largest, closely followed by the UK with sales of £13.7bn in the same year.

According to Datamonitor, the UK market is predicted to grow by £181m by 2008. In terms of per capita expenditure, however, the UK takes the lead, with a total of £229 per person per year, compared to £182 in Germany. Snacks and take-away meals account for over 38 per cent of the average British consumer's expenditure 'on-the-move' food and drink.

A side effect of the climate, on-the-move drinking is mainly focused on tea and coffee, especially in winter. In 2003, Brits spent £1.4bn on hot drinks, compared to £0.8bn on both water and soft drinks.

According to the report, in the mind of a high proportion of consumers, however, on-the-move food and drink is viewed as being of poor quality, either because it is unhealthy, or quite simply has an unpleasant taste or texture.

"One way to change this is to increase the offering of hot on-the-move meals. Consumers will pay a premium for what is essentially an everyday treat, and a similar approach can be taken to encourage time-pressed consumers to eat on-the-move,"​ concludes Gould.

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