Coffee shops and cafés are playing a "notable" role in the longer-term trend among consumers for frequent eating out of home, according to new research by Allegra Strategies.

In the first phase of a major research programme, How Britain Eats, Allegra found 51% of consumers would choose to have a meal in a coffee shop or café.

Restaurants remain the most popular choice at 79%, followed by friends or relatives’ homes at 75% and pubs at 56%. Fast food outlets (35%) and sandwich bars (28%) were the sixth and seventh most-popular choices. Only 5% of consumers said they would not eat out in a typical three-month period.