Food service sector continues to serve up the right economic recipe

cover 2The British Hospitality Association’s latest report on Britain’s Food Service Management (FSM) sector* launched today (Wednesday 25 November) shows that FSM businesses now serve more than four million customers each day, representing sales of £83.9bn - 42 per cent of total consumer expenditure on food, drink and catering in the UK.

One in four meals in the UK is now consumed out of the home. Upward trends point to continued growth in out-of-home dining over the next five years. The leading FSM companies surveyed by the British Hospitality Association expect the sector to generate 10,000 new jobs in the next twelve months on top of the 268,000 currently employed by FSM companies.

The British Hospitality Association report presents findings of an annual national survey of FSM companies. Respondents underlined expectations for growth in the demand for ‘street food’, healthy options and reduced sugar in meals served. Longer-term trends remain uncertain, in particular consumer demands of the millennial generation.

Results also show that 100% of FSM companies surveyed are providing healthier alternatives and lower calorie options in addition to:

  • 94% reducing salt in their meals
  • 88% are including more fruits and vegetables in menus
  • 88% training chefs on cooking healthy options
  • 81% reducing fat in meals
  • 81% reducing added sugar in meals
  • 75% removed artificial trans fats
  • 69% include calorie labelling on menus
  • 50% are reducing calories per portion

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive, British Hospitality Association said: “This is a remarkable achievement and significant work is ongoing to further improve menus and choice in the FSM offer. Similarly, there has been positive engagement across many restaurant and hotel caterers, demonstrating the willingness of industry to work with Government to improve public health and reduce obesity in the UK.

“Significant investment has been made by many FSM companies, to bring reporting in line with the Responsibility Deal. We would therefore urge the Department of Health to revive the Responsibility Deal, building on the commitments of hospitality businesses. Continuity of the programme would help to encourage the participation of greater numbers of businesses”.

Phil Hooper, Chairman of the BHA FSM Forum, and Brand and Communications Director for Sodexo UK and Ireland said; “I am encouraged by the development of the FSM sector as it continues to grow and diversify.  It remains an important industry and for many working in the industry it offers more than just a job, it provides them with a career, one where they can learn, develop and succeed.”

Caroline Fry, Deputy CEO, CH&Co Group said: “Our industry crosses all sectors of the private and public sector so it’s very encouraging to see continued growth in the Food Service Management sector in this new concise and informative BHA Report. It’s also very pleasing to see health and nutrition and a major focus on waste reduction as priorities for many foodservice companies.

“It’s no surprise to people in the hospitality sector that we are the second largest contributor to new job creation in the country but it may be a surprise for others. These statistics should help demonstrate to government that we’re a very important part of the British economy and an engine for growth.”

A separate independent study for the BHA by Oxford Economics confirmed that hospitality as a whole is the UK’s fourth largest industry.

In 2014, it accounted directly for 2.92 million jobs. Adding in indirect employment of 775,000 (where hospitality firms purchase goods and services from UK suppliers) and induced employment of 941,000 (where hospitality and supply chain employees buy consumer goods and services), the total economic impact of hospitality is over 4.6 million jobs, 14 per cent of total employment in the UK.

This equates to gross value added of £143 billion, some 10 per cent of UK gross domestic product.

Click HERE to access the FSM Report

*Food service management activities include: food service contractors (e.g. for transportation companies); operators of food concessions at sports and similar facilities; operators of canteens or cafeterias (e.g. for factories, offices, hospitals or schools) and event catering.

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