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Menu Flavours - UK - June 2012

“Operators have to be proactive in marketing new menu additions – this means spelling out reasons to purchase as well as communicating what they consist of.”

– Helena Spicer, Senior Foodservice Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How can operators counteract the decline of the three course meal?
  • How can drinks menus combat falling usage in the on-trade?
  • How can operators use the internet to drive interest in their dishes?
  • What role can innovative dishes play in helping venues drive footfall?

This report looks at food/drink flavour trends on menus in the foodservice market and developments in eating out preferences in the UK specifically. Its aim is to explore the existing trends in menu development and look forward to what is on the horizon.

The issues of flavours on menus can be interpreted a number of ways and can be investigated from a number of angles, however, due to the diverse nature of this subject not all areas can be explored within the remit of this report. Therefore this report is not intended to be used as a menu-planning guide.

This report highlights the main trends currently driving the eating out market and their effects on menu development. It also explores some of the major issues affecting the direction of the eating out market in general. This is primarily a consumer-based report.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • Meat-related Trends
              • Ethnic Flavour Trends
                • Baking/Dessert Trends
                  • Non-Alcoholic Drink Trends
                    • Tableware Trends
                      • The consumer
                        • Usage of and interest in European restaurants
                          • Figure 1: Usage of and interest in European restaurants, April 2012
                        • Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants
                          • Figure 2: Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                        • Menu deterrents
                          • Figure 3: Menu deterrents, April 2012
                        • Usage of and interest in food menu enticements
                          • Figure 4: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, April 2012
                        • Usage of and interest in drinks menu enticements
                          • Figure 5: Usage of and interest in drinks menu enticements, April 2012
                        • What we think
                        • Issues in the Market

                            • How can operators counteract the decline of the three course meal?
                              • How can drinks menus combat falling usage in the on-trade?
                                • How can operators use the internet to drive interest in their dishes?
                                  • What role can innovative dishes play in helping venues drive footfall?
                                  • Future Opportunities

                                      • Promoting niche concepts
                                        • Putting the ‘experience’ back into the ‘eating out experience’
                                          • Faux Food Future
                                          • Broader Market Environment

                                            • Key points
                                              • Low consumer confidence sees menu development react
                                                • Figure 6: GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, monthly, January 2007-April 2012
                                              • Low-cost comfort food
                                                • Pressure on breakfast and lunch catering
                                                  • Adventurous flavours, familiar formats
                                                    • Treat purchasing habits persist
                                                      • Continued demand for justifiable luxury
                                                        • Demographic trends: constraints and opportunities
                                                          • Figure 7: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2007-17
                                                          • Figure 8: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2007-17
                                                      • Meat-related Trends

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • British food trends
                                                            • Acceptance, accessibility and popularisation of offal
                                                              • Historical British concepts
                                                                • Summer of patriotism 2012
                                                                  • Single meat or limited menus
                                                                    • Growth potential of poultry
                                                                      • Meat: demographic targeting
                                                                        • Widening menu breadth
                                                                          • Interactivity
                                                                            • The resurgence of American BBQ food
                                                                              • Continuing evolution of the burgers
                                                                                • Gourmet concepts
                                                                                  • Sliders, ‘burger flights’ and meatballs
                                                                                    • Figure 9: Use of and interest in sliders/mini burgers, by age and region, April 2012
                                                                                  • American-style
                                                                                    • Handheld concepts
                                                                                    • Ethnic Flavour Trends

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Growth in ethnic NPD in home
                                                                                          • Figure 10: Change in usage* of ready meals, by type (in ascending order of usage with the most used first), percentage point change, 2007-11
                                                                                          • Figure 11: Change in types of other cooking sauces (excluding pasta sauce) used (in ascending order of usage with most used first), percentage point change, 2007-11
                                                                                        • Ethnic flavour trends out of home
                                                                                          • Service formats
                                                                                            • Cuisine trends
                                                                                            • Baking/Dessert Trends

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • As three course meals decline, dessert menus have to adapt
                                                                                                  • Figure 12: Courses ordered, May 2011
                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Use of and interest in mini desserts/sharing platters, by age and region, April 2012
                                                                                                • Balancing the demand for ‘safe bets’ with the rising tide of ‘recession fatigue’
                                                                                                  • Afternoon tea trends
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Use of and interest in afternoon/cream teas, by age and region, April 2012
                                                                                                  • Global baking trends
                                                                                                  • Non-alcoholic Drinks Trends

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • In home soft drinks trends
                                                                                                        • Figure 15: Types of ready to drink fruit/vegetable juices and smoothies used most, (in order of ascending usage with largest first), by percentage point change in usage, 2008-11
                                                                                                      • Opportunities for carbonates
                                                                                                        • Soft drinks – children
                                                                                                          • Hot drinks trends – learning from retailers
                                                                                                          • Tableware Trends

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Using tableware to create perceived added value
                                                                                                                • Innovative bar ware
                                                                                                                  • … and garnishes
                                                                                                                    • High cost, low volume, statement menu options
                                                                                                                      • The ‘theatre’ of baking
                                                                                                                      • Restaurants Visited

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Despite tough market conditions, Britain is still a nation of pub lovers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Restaurants visited (eaten in), April 2012
                                                                                                                          • Usage of and interest in European restaurants
                                                                                                                            • Spanish dominates the mainstream, but recent media attention has been on niche cuisine types such as Scandinavian
                                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Usage of and interest in European restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                            • Spanish/tapas
                                                                                                                              • Greek/Turkish
                                                                                                                                • French
                                                                                                                                  • German
                                                                                                                                    • Belgian
                                                                                                                                      • Scandinavian (eg Norwegian, Swedish)
                                                                                                                                        • Polish
                                                                                                                                          • Russian
                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes Towards Ordering in Restaurants

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Diners are not focused on lowest cost but will trade down in areas where they can’t see the added value
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Faster-paced lifestyles have led to shorter more casual dining occasions
                                                                                                                                                • Young diners looking for familiarity, parents for a treat whilst affluence breeds confidence in more adventurous dish choices
                                                                                                                                                  • Over-optioned consumers and those that see value in big plate servings
                                                                                                                                                    • The youth market is the most price sensitive
                                                                                                                                                    • Menu Deterrents

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Balancing menu description length
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Menu deterrents, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Importance of differentiation from in-home options
                                                                                                                                                        • Use of and Interest in Food Menu Enticements

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Cyclical food fashion
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • You eat with your eyes
                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunities for reviving the cheeseboard
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Agreement with the statement ‘I often eat fresh cheese’, 2003-11
                                                                                                                                                              • Main sharing dishes appeal to families
                                                                                                                                                                • Sharing concepts spark the most interest among under-35s
                                                                                                                                                                  • Half and half mains interest 45-54s
                                                                                                                                                                    • Youth market more receptive of alternative service formats
                                                                                                                                                                      • Pizza by the slice
                                                                                                                                                                        • Sliders (eg mini burgers)
                                                                                                                                                                          • Interactive dishes (eg fondue, flambé at the table, cook your own steak at the table eg on a hot rock)
                                                                                                                                                                          • Use of and Interest in Drinks Menu Enticements

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Low consumer confidence damaging their propensity to spend
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements about paying for alcohol, 2003-11
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Types of bottled wine drunk most often, (in ascending order of usage with most popular used first), by percentage point change, 2008-11
                                                                                                                                                                              • Use of and interest in drinks menu enticements
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Use of and interest in drinks menu enticements, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Wine/beer/food matching
                                                                                                                                                                                • Dessert-flavoured cocktails
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wine flights
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Beer paddles
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Skinny cocktails
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Menu Flavours Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Menu flavours target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Menu flavours target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Playing It Safe (21% of diners)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Young Entertainment Enthusiasts (13% of diners)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Value for Money Foodies (15% of diners)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cheeseboard Urbanites (32% of diners)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Older Special Occasion Diners (19% of diners)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Restaurants Visited

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Restaurants visited (eaten in), April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Most popular restaurants visited (eaten in), by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Next most popular restaurants visited (eaten in), by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • European restaurants visited
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Usage of Spanish/tapas and Greek/Turkish restaurants, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Usage of French and German restaurants, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Usage of Belgian and Polish restaurants, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Usage of Scandinavian and Russian restaurants, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Social networking sites visited and frequency, by European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, by European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Menu deterrents, by European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Grocery shopping habits, by European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Health and healthy lifestyles, by European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Cooking and eating habits, by European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Ordering in Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Most popular attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Next most popular attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, by most popular attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, by next most popular attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Menu Deterrents

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Most popular menu deterrents, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Next most popular menu deterrents, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Use of and Interest in Food Menu Enticements

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Use of and interest in a dessert from a trolley/display and afternoon tea/cream teas, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Use of and interest in sharing boards/antipasti and cheese from a selection, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Use of and interest in main sharing dishes and mini desserts/sharing dessert platters, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Use of and interest in pizza by the slice and half/half mains, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Use of and interest in interactive dishes and sliders, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Social networking sites visited and frequency, by menu enticements used, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Social networking sites visited and frequency, by menu enticements used, April 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by frequency of eating out, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular reason for eating out, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by next most popular reason for eating out, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular places where eat in, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by next most popular places where eat in, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular european restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular European restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by use of drinks menu enticements, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Use of and Interest in Drinks Menu Enticements

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Use of and interest in drinks menu enticements, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Use of and interest in a glass of wine recommended with the dish ordered and type of beer recommended, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Use of and interest in dessert-flavoured cocktails and wine flights, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Use of and interest in beer paddles and skinny cocktails, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by frequency of eating out, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular reason for eating out, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by next most popular reason for eating out, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular places where eat in, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by next most popular places where eat in, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular european restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by next most popular european restaurants visited, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by next most popular attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by most popular use of and interest in drinks menu enticements, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by next most popular use of and interest in drinks menu enticements, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Menu Flavours Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Target groups, by detailed demographics, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Attitudes towards ordering in restaurants, by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Menu deterrents, by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Social networking sites visited and frequency, by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Frequency of eating out by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Reason for eating out, by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Venues visited, by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: European restaurants visited, by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Use of and interest in food menu enticements, by target groups, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Use of and interest in drinks menu enticements, by target groups, April 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ben & Jerry's (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Britvic Soft Drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Coca-Cola GB
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Costcutter Supermarkets Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Domino's Pizza UK & IRL, plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gfk NOP
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Giraffe
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Google UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • IKEA
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • JD Wetherspoon
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • KFC Ltd (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Leon
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Londis (Holdings) Ltd - retail sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mitchells & Butlers Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Nandos UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • PizzaExpress Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Prezzo PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Spar UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Starbucks Coffee Company UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Strada
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wagamama Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Menu Flavours - UK - June 2012

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