Londoners pay 24% more for lunch-to-go and the capital accounts for 18% of Britain’s lunch-to-go spend, according to a new report.
The figures from the NPD Group show that Londoners, who comprise 13% of the UK’s population, visit fast food outlets and other chains to buy a take-away lunch more frequently than other regions.
London outlets including sandwich shops, bakeries, cafés, supermarkets, fast food chains and independent take-aways are “significantly outgrowing” similar establishments across the country – and across all day parts. London traffic is up 13.8% to the year ending August 2014 against the same period in 2009. This compares to much lower growth of 2.3% for the rest of Britain.
London lunch visits-to-go account for 65% of purchases against 64% in the rest of Britain – but lunch from a fast food outlet would cost an average of £3.53 in the capital against £2.84 countrywide – a 24% hike.
Cyril Lavenant, NPD group director of foodservice UK, said: “There are distinct characteristics regarding the lunch occasion in London. Lunch purchased through the fast food channel in London has increased far faster than in the rest of Britain. And for the lunch-to-go segment within that, Londoners generate a much higher level of the traffic relative to the population size of the capital.”
Londoners also differ in where they choose to eat their food, with 52% taking it back to their office against 38% in the rest of Britain. Lastly, London independents are stealing traffic from the branded chains while the opposite is true in the rest of the country.
“It’s fascinating to see how independents are taking ‘lunch-to-go’ traffic share from the branded outlets in London,” said Lavenant. “Throughout the rest of Britain it’s the reverse trend, so 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.”