Londoners the most likely to buy take out lunch

24 September 2014 by
Londoners the most likely to buy take out lunch

Londoners are more likely to buy a take-out lunch, compared to the rest of Britain, but pay almost 24% more to do so, new research has found.

The capital makes up 13% of the British population (England, Wales and Scotland) but 17% of Britain's lunch-and-go traffic, according to NPD Group research. However, the average London lunch-to-go costs £3.53, compared with the £2.84 average for the rest of Britain. This is true even when the customer buys the same number of items.

Similarly, London's quick-service restaurant (QSRs) lunchtime sector is booming. For all times of the day, London's traffic in such venues - including fast food chains; independent takeaways; sandwich, bakery and coffee outlets, leading supermarkets and other retailers - is up 13.8% (for the year end to August 2014 compared to 2009), versus just 2.3% for the rest of Britain over the same time period.

London's independent food outlets are also on the increase, seeing a rise of six percentage points, to 21% to the year end to August. In contrast, outside of London, branded fast-food outlets and chain sandwich, bakery and coffee shops are taking traffic from the independents, pushing it down seven percentage points to 27%, in the same time frame.

On one measure, however, London is similar to the rest of the country: 65% of the city's lunchtime visits are to-go, compared with 64% everywhere else.

Cyril Lavenant, director of foodservice at the NPD Group, said: "London's independents have clearly developed a successful offering. One possible reason the capital's independents are doing well is that London is often the city where all kinds of new ventures are tested before they are rolled out to the national market."

The NPD Group aims to help businesses make more informed decisions, using data and industry insight into consumer behaviour. This report was compiled using the 2011 UK census data, and the NPD Crest database of a representative panel, which measures consumer restaurant behaviour and consumers' use of commercially prepared meals and snacks.

The NPD Group's other sectors including sports, technology, entertainment and fashion.

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