Market data

Foodservice market reports are in danger of getting a reputation similar to London buses – you wait all year for one and then three come along together.

From them we have the figure of, courtesy of the British Hospitality Association’s ‘Spotlight on Food Service Management’, a £83.9-billion market size in terms of the value of meals eaten out of home, and busy FSM caterers are currently serving more than four million customers a day.

We’ve also had confirmed a company hierarchy in the UK-based overall sales that, to no one’s great surprise, saw Compass at the top with annual revenue of £1.8 billion.

This came from the ‘Vision’ report produced by EP Business in Hospitality, which put WSH Group (BaxterStorey, Caterlink, Benugo and others) in second place on £595 million, followed by Sodexo in third spot with £539 million.

If you like a slightly more nuanced view of the market, then the ‘Foodservice Growth Report’ offers us a top 20 of contract catering based on a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years. This put Belfast-based Mount Charles Group first, which, with a £2.1-million profit on turnover of £25.5 million, achieved a CAGR of 32.5% in the report prepared by AlixPartners together with EP Business in Hospitality. They were followed by Olive Catering in second spot and CH&Co in third.

All of this attention is to be warmly welcomed, because the foodservice market has, for a long time, been the poor relation in terms of market analysis – especially when compared with its retail market cousin.

Good business decisions depend on the availability of reliable and up-to-date information, so this recent glut of attention on the market can only help operators by giving them the intelligence they need. Long may it continue.

Market data

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