Meat industry impact from eating-out closures in UK


There is no doubt that food-service is being negatively impacted by corona-virus. With restaurants and hotel closed operators may offset some of their lost sales through food delivery, as expected, the greatest growth will be seen in retail markets.

Posted on Mar 31 ,08:22

Meat industry impact from eating-out closures in UK

According to AHDB, the UK eating-out market was worth £81.1bn in 2019 and estimates that this accounts for approximately 80% of all food service, with the remainder made up of channels such as food delivery and public procurement into schools and hospitals.

Of the total 2.5 billion eating out occasions, in the quarter, a significant number involved meat and processed meat meaning substantial volumes went through this channel.

Pork featured in a fifth of eating out occasions. Processed pork is particularly important here as the full English breakfast, sausage/bacon sandwiches and sausage rolls are the most popular pork dishes out-of-home. Pork sales rely heavily on pubs, sandwich retailers, coffee shops and fast food with 59% of occasions going through these channels during this time period. These channels will be impacted by coronavirus and despite home delivery still being an option, many big brands have decided to close.

For beef, over half of occasions go through two channels; fast food and pubs. Both relying heavily on burger sales, the most popular beef dish out-of-home. McDonalds have closed all their restaurants, and they alone accounted for 80% of fast food burger occasions last year.

Although 15% of lamb volumes are through eating-out, lamb is present in only 2% of eating-out occasions. However, the good news for lamb is that the most popular dish, curry, will still be available through home delivery, with Indian cuisine being the third most favoured for home delivery (MCA, Delivery Market Report, 2018).

If establishments want to continue with home delivery this is an option. A recent study highlights that over half of the adult population have either already had, or are planning to get a delivery during the coronavirus pandemic (18 March 2020). Some local independents have decided to do this independently using staff that would have previously served to now deliver food. In addition, third party delivery services such as Deliveroo and UberEats have seen brands such as McDonalds suspend partnerships due to closing. This gives more opportunity to support independent restaurants.

For establishments, and their suppliers, that cannot continue to trade we have seen moves to redirect supply. Whether that be to other parts of the food chain such as retailers, or directly to consumers. For instance, some restaurants have transformed its UK stores into mini-supermarkets or plan to launch a delivery service.

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