The new research shows that this growth is in contrast with sandwich shops (-5%), coffee shops/cafes (-9%), fast food and takeaway (-12%) and high street (-36%), which are all in decline. Food to go in convenience stores and forecourts are also in growth, driven by demand for meal deal offers.
In the past 12 weeks, the eating out channel (comprising pubs, restaurants and hotels) was in strong growth +42% vs 2021. However, the rate of growth has slowed from +97% in July.
“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 food to go and eating out,” said Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC.
“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, while in food to go we are seeing the strongest growth in the multiple and convenience sectors.”
The report shows that growth in eating out is driven by restaurants followed by pubs, while demand is rising for food-to-go options that are ‘not too expensive’ and ‘quick and easy’.
TWC has identified that consumers aged 45-64 are driving growth across both food to go and eating out while over-65s are eating out less, potentially due to the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.