- The “new normal” leaves changes in eating habits such as an increase in Takeaway, a reduction in food costs and an earlier dinner time.
The month of April registered the highest turnover of the last 14 months in the Foodservice sector, even higher than that of the summer months of last year. Although the 2019 billing levels have not yet been reached, the food and beverage consumption data show that the recovery began as of last March. This is revealed in the Report “Foodservice consumption after the end of the state of alarm” prepared by the Foodservice Cluster of Catalonia and the market research company NPD Group.
With the data accumulated from January to April of this year, Foodservice consumption is still 36% lower than it was in 2019 but it is growing 3% compared to 2020, a growth that has accelerated in recent months. If in February the sector had a turnover of 1,525 million euros, in March the figure already amounted to 1,957 million and in April it reached 2,310 million euros in turnover. There is also an increase in spending per food and diner, which in April 2020 had fallen by 27.8% compared to 2019 and in April it has already equaled the figure of 2019. However, the report warns that the increase in QSR (establishments fast food), take away food and home delivery, put downward pressure on spending per diner. Currently 33% of customers spend less than 5 euros on a main meal when they consume in catering establishments or buy prepared food, 39% spend between 5 and 10 euros, 20% spend between 10 and 20 € and only 8 % of customers spend more than 20 euros (six points below the year 2019).
Regarding consumer habits, there are changes caused by the pandemic that continue after the end of the alarm state and are incorporated into the “new normal”, such as the increase in “OffPremise” options such as Takeaway (which was 15% of restaurant consumption in April 2019 and April 2021 represents 28%). There is also a reduction in the weight of the main meals and an increase in meals between meals – due to teleworking, among other factors – and, finally, an advance in the dinner schedule: currently 29% of those surveyed say they have dinner before 9:00 p.m., while in 2019 they were only 18%.
Regarding the data segmented by Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, consumption trends are similar to the rest of the State but with a somewhat slower rate of recovery (due to the implementation of more restrictive measures), with a greater weight of the consumption of prepared food to supermarkets, and with less habit of going to the restaurant (two points less than in the State).
The Foodservice market includes the consumption of all food and beverages, ready to consume, regardless of the place of purchase (restaurants, shops, hotel establishments, university canteens, vending machines, delivery, etc.). Regarding the methodology, the study prepared by NPD Group commissioned by the Foodservice Cluster of Catalonia has been based on the consumption of 120,000 representative people of different ages and territories of the Spanish State, including the Canary Islands.
From the Foodservice Cluster, the president of the Cluster and general director of Serhs Food, Raimon Bagó, affirms that knowing the data of the Report is key so that the sector can prepare for new trends and changes in the habit of families, and explains that “perhaps It is too daring to say that all the trend changes will consolidate, but what we do believe is that the market will become increasingly omnichannel and anarchic in demand, which opens up a world of new opportunities that we can take advantage of if we know how to interpret assertively information such as the one we have made available to Cluster members today”.