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Ethnic Restaurants and Takeaways - UK - February 2015

“Whilst online ordering and the expansion of large chains should boost growth in the sector, operators must do more to improve on the market’s Achilles heel; a low perception of value for money.”
– Richard Ford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Ethnic restaurants and takeaways suffer from a poor value-for-money image
  • Growth of online ordering services means takeaway market is better placed for growth than the eat-in sector
  • Various operators look to expand on national scale

The UK ethnic restaurant and takeaway market offers a diverse range of cuisines, from Chinese to Caribbean, with the market made up of numerous independent operators as well as large chains; its elasticity in absorbing new and fusion cuisines (such as Japanese/Peruvian Nikkei) means it is well placed to meet changing consumer preferences.

Usage of ethnic restaurants is high, with 81% having ever ordered home delivery or takeaway from an ethnic restaurant and 79% having eaten in one, the former also being used more frequently. Whilst Chinese followed by Indian remain the most popular cuisines, Caribbean and Malaysian spark the greatest interest in trial amongst those who have not eaten them.

Market growth has been slow in recent years as consumers have been cautious in their spending but growth is expected to accelerate over 2014-19, a beneficiary of the forecast growth in real incomes. To make the most of this opportunity, individual operators must promote their authenticity and at the same time address poor perceptions of value for money and freshness.

This report includes ethnic restaurants and takeaways specialising in any cuisines outside Europe, Russia, Australasia and North America.

The following definitions apply to the various cuisines referred to in this report:

  • Chinese: Peking, Cantonese and other Chinese variations

  • Tex-Mex: a blend of Mexican and Texan food culture eg fajitas

  • Caribbean includes cuisine from Jamaica as well as other Caribbean islands

  • North African: includes, for example, Moroccan and Algerian cuisine

  • Other African food includes cuisine from all other African countries other than in North Africa, such as Nigerian or Ghanaian

  • Middle Eastern food refers to all food from countries in the Middle Eastern region, such as the Emirates, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey

  • South American cuisine includes cuisine from all countries on the continent such as Brazil.

Excluded from this report are:

  • all ethnic ready meals and food products bought through retail channels, eg supermarkets

  • ethnic meals bought in non-specialist ethnic restaurants, eg pubs, hotels, sandwich shops etc

  • all European and North American foods, with the exception of Tex-Mex.

 

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: UK ethnic restaurant and takeaway market, market size and forecast, 2009-19
            • Market factors
              • Supermarket offerings become increasingly sophisticated
                • Falling price of crude oil should benefit the sector
                  • Fewer Brits spending extra money on dining out
                    • Companies, brands and innovation
                      • Figure 2: Selected ethnic restaurant/takeaway chains, by number of outlets, 2010-15
                    • Wide-ranging innovation
                      • The consumer
                        • Ethnic restaurants/takeaways remain a rare treat
                          • Figure 3: Frequency of visiting an ethnic restaurant/ordering an ethnic takeaway/home delivery, 2012 and 2014
                        • Chinese is most popular ethnic restaurant/takeaway option
                          • Figure 4: Use of and interest in ethnic restaurants/takeaways, December 2014
                        • Less than one in seven see ethnic restaurants as unhealthy
                          • Authenticity is important to diners in ethnic food
                            • Food from ethnic takeaways seen as less authentic than food eaten in ethnic restaurants
                              • Figure 5: Qualities associated with ethnic food, by channel, December 2014
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • Ethnic restaurants and takeaways suffer from a poor value-for-money image
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Growth of online ordering services means takeaway market is better placed for growth than the eat-in sector
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Various operators look to expand on national scale
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • Trend Application

                                                    • Mintel Trend: Experience Is All
                                                      • Mintel Trend: Fauxthenticity
                                                        • Mintel Trend: Guiding Choice
                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Supermarkets continue to improve their ethnic food offerings
                                                              • Ready meals
                                                                • Cooking sauces and seasonings
                                                                  • African food gains visibility at retail
                                                                    • Fewer consumers spending extra money on dining out
                                                                      • Figure 6: Trends in share of consumers who choose to spend their extra money (after bills are paid and they’ve bought all the things they really need) on dining out, November 2009-January 2015
                                                                    • Fewer Brits enjoy spicy food
                                                                      • Figure 7: Agreement with the statement ‘I enjoy spicy food’, March 2012-December 2014
                                                                    • Country-specific events in 2015/16 should boost individual cuisines
                                                                      • Mexican cuisine to gain visibility in UK in 2015
                                                                        • Rio 2016 Olympic Games will provide a focus for South American restaurants
                                                                          • New allergen regulations place a burden on smaller operators
                                                                            • Indian cuisine drives increase in purchase of ethnic food out of home
                                                                              • Figure 8: Indian, Chinese and Thai food – average grams purchased per person per week, out of home in the UK, 2001/02-2013
                                                                            • Falling price of petrol should take pressure off margins
                                                                            • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                              • Strengths
                                                                                • Weaknesses
                                                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Cookery schools offer a useful bolt-on
                                                                                      • Wahaca taps into half term with free kids’ workshops
                                                                                        • Itsu looks for buy-in from diners through crowdsourcing
                                                                                          • Ethnic restaurants continue to build a presence in the retail channel
                                                                                            • Japanese/Peruvian: The new fusion?
                                                                                              • Packaging can provide a point of difference for takeaway/home delivery
                                                                                                • Figure 9: The Grand Thali delivery box from The Chilli Pickle Canteen, Brighton
                                                                                              • Sushi looks to character merchandising to woo families
                                                                                              • Segment Performance, Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Improving economy should benefit ethnic restaurants/takeaways
                                                                                                    • Figure 10: UK ethnic restaurants and takeaways, market size and forecast, 2009-19
                                                                                                  • Ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                    • Figure 11: UK ethnic restaurant market, market size and forecast, 2009-19
                                                                                                    • Figure 12: UK ethnic restaurant market, market size and forecast, 2009-19
                                                                                                  • Ethnic takeaways
                                                                                                    • Figure 13: UK ethnic takeaway market, market size and forecast, 2009-19
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: UK ethnic takeaway market, market size and forecast, 2009-19
                                                                                                  • Forecast – total market
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: UK ethnic restaurant and takeaway market, market size and forecast, 2009-19
                                                                                                  • Nationwide expansion of large chains should benefit the market
                                                                                                    • Sector still faces challenges
                                                                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                      • Companies and Products

                                                                                                          • Online ordering services
                                                                                                            • Deliveroo
                                                                                                              • Just Eat
                                                                                                                • Indian
                                                                                                                  • Sector overview
                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Selected Indian restaurant/takeaway chains, by UK outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015
                                                                                                                  • Ashoka (Harlequin Leisure Group)
                                                                                                                    • Aagrah Group
                                                                                                                      • Masala Zone
                                                                                                                        • Rasa
                                                                                                                          • Japanese
                                                                                                                            • Sector overview
                                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Selected Japanese restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015
                                                                                                                            • Itsu
                                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Itsu Limited, financial performance, 2009-13
                                                                                                                              • Wasabi
                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Wasabi Co Limited, financial performance, 2010-13
                                                                                                                              • YO! Sushi
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: YO! Sushi UK Limited, financial performance, 2009-13
                                                                                                                                • Chinese
                                                                                                                                  • Sector overview
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Selected Chinese restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Hotcha
                                                                                                                                    • Ping Pong
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Ping Pong Limited, financial performance, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                      • Real China
                                                                                                                                        • Other Asian
                                                                                                                                          • Sector overview
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Selected other Asian restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Pho
                                                                                                                                            • Wagamama
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Wagamama Limited, financial performance, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                            • South American, Mexican and Caribbean
                                                                                                                                              • Sector overview
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Selected South American/Mexican/Caribbean restaurant and takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015
                                                                                                                                              • Chiquito
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Financial performance of Chiquito Limited, 2010-13
                                                                                                                                                • Las Iguanas
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Financial performance of Las Iguanas Limited, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                              • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Wagamama adspend rockets in 2014 with radio and in-store campaigns
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Above-the-line expenditure of selected operators in the ethnic restaurant and takeaway market, by 2014 expenditure, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                                  • Radio and press are favoured forms of media for ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Above-the-line expenditure of selected operators in the ethnic restaurant and takeaway market, by media type, 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • YO! Sushi targets tech-savvy under-35s with TV advert
                                                                                                                                                    • Aagrah launches first TV advert
                                                                                                                                                      • YO! Sushi in movie tie-up with Disney’s Big Hero 6
                                                                                                                                                        • Brands encourage photo sharing through social media channels
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Frequency of Visiting Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Four in five consumers eat at ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Frequency of visiting an ethnic restaurant/ordering an ethnic takeaway/home delivery, 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                                                                              • Ethnic takeaways are eaten more frequently than restaurant meals
                                                                                                                                                                • In-venue experiences could encourage restaurant dining
                                                                                                                                                                  • Younger consumers more likely to use ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumers use ethnic restaurants less often than in 2012
                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Usage of and Interest in Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways by Cuisine

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Chinese is most popular ethnic restaurant/takeaway option
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Use of and interest in ethnic restaurants/takeaways, by cuisine, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Men’s and women’s preferences for Chinese restaurants differ
                                                                                                                                                                            • Caribbean and Malaysian restaurants garner greatest interest in trial
                                                                                                                                                                              • Caribbean
                                                                                                                                                                                • Malaysian
                                                                                                                                                                                  • C2DEs and lower earners less open to trying new ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                    • New restaurant openings should boost Korean cuisine in 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Qualities Associated with Selected Ethnic Cuisines

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Less than one in seven diners see any cuisine as unhealthy
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Qualities associated with selected types of ethnic restaurant/takeaway, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                          • One in five see Indian and Mexican food as too spicy
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Laying out menus according to heat level would showcase the range available
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Only one in four (25%) see any ethnic cuisine as special
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Just one in 10 see Middle Eastern food as fun
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Caribbean and Middle Eastern cuisine seen most widely as hard to find
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marked difference in value-for-money perception between selected cuisines
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Authenticity matters to diners
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Attitudes towards ethnic restaurants/takeaways, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Transparency should help to promote authenticity
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Open kitchens garner interest amongst two in five
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • ‘At table’ preparation offers an alternative to open kitchens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • One in three interested in multi-cuisine restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Collaboration could benefit single-cuisine operators
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Menus tailored to special religious/cultural events appeal to one in five
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wide variety of events exist for restaurants to base special menus around
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • One in five interested in buying ethnic food from a mobile van
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Qualities Associated with Ethnic Food by Channel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Food from ethnic takeaways seen as less authentic than from restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Qualities associated with ethnic food, by channel, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Eat-in ethnic restaurants face poor value-for-money perception
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Adding value should help improve the value-for-money perception
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Just one in seven see takeaway food as exciting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Less than a third see eat-in ethnic cuisine as fresh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fewer people replacing restaurant dining with indulgent food at home
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Grocery shopping habits: Agreement with the statement ‘I treat myself to indulgent food at home instead of eating out at restaurants’, December 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Segment Performance, Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ethnic restaurants and takeaways
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Best- and worst-case forecast for the UK ethnic restaurant/takeaway market, by value, 2014-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Best- and worst-case forecast for the UK ethnic restaurant market, by value, 2014-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ethnic takeaways
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Best- and worst-case forecast for the UK ethnic takeaway market, by value, 2014-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – The Consumer – Frequency of Visiting Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Use of and interest in ethnic restaurants/takeaways, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – The Consumer – Usage of and Interest in Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways by Cuisine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Top 10 countries of last residence of migrants who are not British citizens, 2013*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ethnic Restaurants and Takeaways - UK - February 2015

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