The British foodservice industry is expected to grow by an additional 83 million visits in 2018 (up +0.7% on 2017), according to new data.

Global information company the NPD Group has predicted the delivery and breakfast markets will continue to drive strong growth in fooodservice over the next two years, despite stagnant wage growth and high inflation.

In 2019, visits in the eat-out or out-of-home (OOH) market could grow by a further 93 million (up +0.8% on 2018). Delivery services are expected to expand rapidly, with an additional 101 million visits by 2019 (+16% on 2017), helped by the expansion of services like Just Eat and Deliveroo.

In addition, the breakfast market is forecast to grow by +5.7% in 2018 and +4.8% in 2019. Breakfast currently represents more than one in eight of the 11.36 billion OOH visits expected by the end of 2017. The lunch occasion is also forecast to grow steadily, by +2.2% and +1.9% respectively, over the same two years.

However, the dinner market is expected to decline over the same period, with growing pressure on consumer spending. By the end of 2019, there could be 5% fewer dinner visits compared to 2016, a decline of over 134 million. However, the rapid rise of delivery is expected to help avoid a sharper decline in dinner visits.

The NPD Group’s UK Foodservice director Cyril Lavenant said: “Delivery shows no signs of running out of steam over the next two years and will help to bring home the bacon in Britain’s £55 billion foodservice industry. Burgers, casual dining, breakfast and lunch are also thriving and should help operators shrug off fragile consumer confidence, as well as inflation and stagnant wages, to achieve growth.

”We are especially bullish about burger chains and casual dining as these restaurants are meeting the consumer’s appetite for a contemporary experience that also offers a family-oriented treat. Regardless of a soft Brexit or a hard Brexit, any foodservice operator that invests for the future, and gives consumers the value, product quality and service quality they want, can look forward to growing their business in 2018 and 2019.”