Expanding options means one-fifth of meals eaten out-of-home

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Lifestyle shifts see out-of-home consumption boom in Europe ©iStock
Lifestyle shifts see out-of-home consumption boom in Europe ©iStock
On average, European consumers eat one in five meals outside the home, with growth of the foodservice channel supported by increased choice, new research reveals.

According to a report, out today, from IRI GIRA Foodservice, a total of €4.1bn in sales was added to the foodservice sector in 2017 as European consumers increasingly dined out. This meant total foodservice sales in Europe have increased to €335.9bn – a yearly average growth rate of 2.5% since 2015, according to IRI’s data.

Chowing down on choice

IRI analysts believe this growth is due to the industry’s response to changing population needs.

In particular, the researchers highlighted “increasingly fluid​” family structures, with a rise in childless families, single occupant homes and single parent families.

More people are also working away from home, resulting in greater demand for convenient meal solutions, IRI suggested.

Spotting the opportunity, restaurants and foodservice outlets have responded by delivering a broader selection of dining options to expand their appeal.

Virginie Pernin, chief analyst at IRI GIRA Foodservice, explained: “Restaurants and other foodservice outlets have capitalised on these trends by providing options for more meal occasions including breakfast and brunch."

Eating out, in

IRI also noted growing demand among Europeans to eat pre-prepared food in the home. 

“It is easier to eat out rather than buy food and cook at home. Food delivery services such as Deliveroo that provide easier ways to order, pay and deliver, are behind the boom in restaurant food at home," ​Pernin observed.

IRI GIRA Foodservice predicts the number of commercial kitchens that are dedicated to food delivery through companies like Just Eat, UberEats, Amazon Restaurants and Deliveroo - which has just launched a global advertising campaign to showcase the breadth of food available on its service - will increase by 2020.

The forecaster predicts a particular focus on healthier and premium options in this space.

Supermarkets are also working to cater to convenient ‘ready-to-ear’ demand through ready meals and meal kits, with sales in the sector valued at €8.3bn in 2017.

“It seems many Europeans prefer their ‘eat out’ to be eaten in​,” Pernin said.

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