The number of out-of-home eating occasions has risen 9% year-on-year in the past 12 weeks, according to TWC’s MealTrak data.

The data shows there were 807 million eating out-of-home occasions in the 12 weeks ending 11 July 2022.

In addition, value sales rose by 19% year-on-year in the 12 week period to £4.9bn.

The data reveals that forecourts are rebounding well – with a 17% increase in occasions in the previous 12 weeks compared to 2021. Convenience stores have seen a stronger performance in the past 12 weeks, at +18%. However, sandwich shops (-5%), coffee shops/cafes (-9%), fast food & takeaway (-12%) and high street (-36%) are all in decline.

The results show strong growth in the traditional ‘meal deal’ product groups and hot drinks, alongside above-average growth in treat sectors, such as confectionery and cakes & pastries. Categories underperforming are led by food-to-go hot meals, soups, and cereals, the data shows.

The growth is currently being driven by older consumers now retiring to the market, especially 45-64s, where growth is much stronger than for the younger age groups across both food-to-go (FTG) and eating out.

Tom Fender, development director at TWC, said: “The market has slowed as the impact of economic shocks bites, with growth dipping under 2% over the last four weeks, but the wider recovery remains solid, with both occasions and value making strong gains over 12- and 52-weekly periods across both FTG and eating out.

“Encouragingly, for the moment at least, value growth remains ahead of occasions, indicating that spends are holding up and consumers are continuing to seek rewarding experiences rather than trying down on prices and functionality. That said, in FTG we are seeing the strongest growth in the multiple and convenience sectors, whilst coffee shops and FTG Specialists are flat and takeaways have fallen back.”

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