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School Meals - UK - August 2009

With the final deadline for nutritional guidelines set for September 2009, many government ministers would no doubt like to see the end of the school meals debate. However, for operators trying to mix the somewhat opposing concepts of attempting to run a profitable, commercial enterprise whilst meeting demands for social responsibility and welfare issues, the hangover from Jamie Oliver’s campaign is likely to continue for many years.

Although the decline in school meal take-up appears to have halted, the majority of pupils continue to bring packed lunches whilst only one in five parents state that their child regularly has school meals. Consumer research for this report has found that, although parents widely support the changes in school meals in recent years, the industry continues to be dogged by preconceptions of poor value for money and poor quality. This will require a considerable marketing effort on the part of caterers, schools and the government alike in order to ‘rebrand’ the new healthier school meal system.

Pressing concerns for the industry also continue to centre on the issue of funding. Although the government has committed a significant amount of financial investment into the industry, many still regard the market as under-resourced due to previous years of under-investment that have left many schools without the practical kitchens needed to fulfil the new government guidelines for school meal provision.

Main issues

  • How are operators persuading children to eat healthier meals?

  • Are current facilities meeting children’s demands and expectations?

  • What can operators do to increase revenues as meal take-up declines and costs increase?

  • How can operators capitalise on changes in legislation?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Tackling competitors head on
              • Portion control
                • Deli-style options
                • Market in Brief

                  • School meal take-up continues to struggle, but it’s not all doom and gloom
                    • Money, money, money
                      • Government subsidies
                        • Going forward
                        • Internal Market Environment

                          • Key points
                            • Pupil numbers
                              • Figure 1: Trends in pupil numbers, 2001/02-2007/08
                            • School size
                              • Figure 2: Trends in school size, 2001/02-2007/08
                            • Food inflation
                              • Case study: St Botolph’s pupils to lose hot school meals
                                • Potential for new entrants?
                                  • Figure 3: Facilities for food preparation in primary and secondary schools in England, by region, 2007/08
                                • Case study: Dorset hub kitchens
                                  • The decline of cookery lessons in school
                                    • Case study: Real Meals – Simple Cooking That Tastes Great
                                      • Jamie Oliver’s Feed Me Better campaign and beyond
                                        • Case study: Impact of nutrition on pupils’ school performance
                                          • Jamie’s Ministry of Food
                                            • National School Meals Week (NSMW)
                                              • Award winning caterers
                                              • Broader Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • School age population
                                                    • Figure 4: Trends and projections in the UK child population, by age group, 2004-14
                                                  • Child obesity
                                                    • Figure 5: Current and projected levels of overweight and obese children in the UK, by age and gender, 2003 and 2010
                                                  • How children spend their pocket money
                                                    • Figure 6: Trends in pocket money spend, 2004-08
                                                  • Ethnic diversity
                                                    • Figure 7: Estimated UK resident population, by country of birth, by region, 2008*
                                                • Legislation and Government Bodies

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • School meal legislation timeline
                                                      • Children Act 2004
                                                        • National Healthy Schools Programme
                                                          • School Food Trust (SFT)
                                                            • School FEAST (Food Excellence and Skills Training)
                                                              • Million Meals
                                                                • Case study: Adverts for food increase snacking
                                                                  • Million Meals continued
                                                                    • Get Real campaign
                                                                      • Let’s Get Cooking
                                                                        • Case study: Today’s kids lack basic skills
                                                                          • Let’s Get Cooking continued
                                                                            • Can Cook Will Cook project
                                                                              • Stay on Site policy
                                                                                • Case study: Cashless catering to eradicate the need for stay-on-site policies
                                                                                  • 5-A-Day
                                                                                    • Figure 8: Methods used by schools to promote healthy eating, 2007
                                                                                  • SNAG (School Nutrition Action Group)
                                                                                    • LACA “secondary school meal system on the brink of collapse”
                                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Contract catering market
                                                                                          • Number of meals served
                                                                                            • Figure 9: Competitive context of the contract catering market, by number of meals served, 2001-07
                                                                                          • Outlet numbers
                                                                                            • Figure 10: Competitive context of the contract catering market, by outlet numbers, 2001-07
                                                                                          • Pupils voting with their feet
                                                                                            • Case study: Manchester Fayre getting the kids’ approval at the menu development stage
                                                                                            • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                                              • Strengths
                                                                                                • Weaknesses
                                                                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Stealth tactics
                                                                                                      • Fad versus niche innovation
                                                                                                        • It’s good to Tweet
                                                                                                          • Using interaction to foster affection
                                                                                                            • Bringing in outside help
                                                                                                            • Market Value and Forecast

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Market performance
                                                                                                                  • Figure 11: School meals market value and forecast, 2004-14
                                                                                                                • Market segmentation
                                                                                                                  • Figure 12: School meals market, by sector, 2004/05-2008/09
                                                                                                              • Meal Take-up and Pricing

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Trends in take-up of school meals
                                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Trends in take-up of school meals, 2004/05-2008/09
                                                                                                                  • Case study: Cucina Catering
                                                                                                                    • Case study: Marketing school meals
                                                                                                                      • Case study: Munchy Crunchy Club
                                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Take-up of school meals, by English region, 2007/08
                                                                                                                      • Case study: Newcastle schools exceeding targets for National Healthy Schools status
                                                                                                                        • Meal pricing
                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Trends in the average cost of a school meal, 2004/05-2007/08
                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Average cost of a school meal, by English region, 2007/08
                                                                                                                        • Free school meals take-up
                                                                                                                          • Eligibility
                                                                                                                            • Case study: Parents’ campaign
                                                                                                                              • Take-up
                                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Take-up of free school meals, by region, 2000/01-2007/08
                                                                                                                              • Case study: Utilising technology to remove the stigma of free school meals
                                                                                                                                • Free school meals for all?
                                                                                                                                  • Case study: School meals in Japan
                                                                                                                                    • Case study: School meals in Sweden
                                                                                                                                      • Private schools
                                                                                                                                      • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Leading contract caterers in the school meals market*, 2009
                                                                                                                                        • ABM Catering Ltd
                                                                                                                                          • Alliance in Partnership Ltd
                                                                                                                                            • Aramark UK
                                                                                                                                              • Compass Group plc
                                                                                                                                                • Chartwells
                                                                                                                                                  • Edwards & Ward Ltd
                                                                                                                                                    • Harrison Catering Services Ltd
                                                                                                                                                      • ISS A/S
                                                                                                                                                        • Rentokil Initial plc
                                                                                                                                                          • Sodexo
                                                                                                                                                          • Children’s General Eating Habits and Food Preferences

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Children’s attitudes towards food
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Trends in attitudes towards diet, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast preferences (7-10-year-olds)
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Trends in foods eaten for breakfast, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Trend in agreement that ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                              • Case study: Breakfast clubs can add value to schools
                                                                                                                                                                • Snacking between meals
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Trends in snacking between meals, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Trends in what children snack on between meals, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Crisps/savoury snacks, chocolate and sweets
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Trends in frequency of chocolate eating, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Trends in where chocolate is eaten most often, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Fizzy drinks and energy/sports drinks
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Trends in consumption of fizzy drinks, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Trends in consumption of fizzy drinks or energy/sports drinks, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Fruit juices, smoothies and fruit drinks
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Trends in consumption of fruit juice or fruit drinks in small cartons or small bottles, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Case study: School rewards for healthy eating
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Trends in where fruit juice or fruit drinks are drunk, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Hot drinks (11-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Trends in consumption of hot drinks, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Vegetarianism in childhood
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Trends in vegetarianism, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                • Vegetarian options in US schools
                                                                                                                                                                  • Vegetarianism in adulthood
                                                                                                                                                                  • Who Eats School Meals?

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • School meal fans
                                                                                                                                                                        • Packed lunchers and switchers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Parents’ Attitudes Towards School Dinners

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Attitudes towards school meals, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Snack-free zones
                                                                                                                                                                              • Happy with school meals
                                                                                                                                                                                • Value for money
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Healthiness of school meals and paying more for health
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Reluctant school diners
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Parents’ Attitudes Towards Children’s General Eating Habits

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Fussy eaters
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fruit salad
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Seeing off the ‘fringe’ shops
                                                                                                                                                                                            • School Meal Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: School meal target groups, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Unenthusiastic
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Contented
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Food Activists
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Children’s General Eating Habits and Food Preferences

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Trends in consumption of chocolate, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Trends in consumption of chocolate, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Trends in number of bars or packets of chocolate eaten in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Trends in number of bars or packets of chocolate eaten in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Trends in frequency of chocolate eating, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Trends in frequency of chocolate eating, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Trends in where chocolate eaten most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Trends in where chocolate eaten most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sweets packets or tubes (not chocolate)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Trends in consumption of sweets, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Trends in consumption of sweets, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Trends in number of packets or tubes of sweets eaten in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Trends in number of packets or tubes of sweets eaten in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Types of sweets eaten most, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Types of sweets eaten most, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Trends in where sweets eaten most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Trends in where sweets eaten most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Crisps/savoury snacks
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trends in crisps and other savoury snacks eaten, 2004-08 (7-10s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Trends in crisps and other savoury snacks eaten, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trends in crisps and other savoury snacks eaten, 2004-08 (11-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Trends in crisps and other savoury snacks eaten, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trends in number of crisps and other savoury snacks packets eaten in the last week, 2004-08 (07-10)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Trends in number of crisps and other savoury snacks packets eaten in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trends in number of crisps and other savoury snacks packets eaten in the last week, 2004-08 (11-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Trends in number of crisps and other savoury snacks packets eaten in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trends in where crisps and savoury snacks eaten most, 2004-08 (7-10s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Trends in where crisps and savoury snacks eaten most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Trends in where crisps and savoury snacks eaten most, 2004-08 (11-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Trends in where crisps and savoury snacks eaten most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fizzy drinks and energy/sports drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trends in number of cans/small bottles of fizzy drink consumed, 2004-08 (7-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Trends in number of cans/small bottles of fizzy drink consumed, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trends in number of cans/small bottles of fizzy drinks or energy/sports drinks consumed, 2004-08 (15-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Trends in number of cans/small bottles of fizzy drinks or energy/sports drinks consumed, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trends in types of fizzy drink drunk most, 2004-08 (11-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Trends in types of fizzy drink drunk most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trends in where fizzy drinks drunk most, 2004-08 (7-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Trends in where fizzy drinks drunk most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trends in where fizzy drinks or energy/sports drinks drunk most, 2006-08 (15-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Trends in where fizzy drinks or energy/sports drinks drunk most, 2006-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fruit juices, smoothies and fruit drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Trends in number of small cartons/small bottles of fruit juice or fruit drunk in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Trends in number of small cartons/small bottles of fruit juice or fruit drunk in the last week, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Trends in kinds of fruit juice or fruit drinks, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Trends in kinds of fruit juice or fruit drinks, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hot drinks (11-19s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Trends in number of cups of hot drinks drunk in a day, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Trends in number of cups of hot drinks drunk in a day, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Trends in when drink hot drinks, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Trends in when drink hot drinks, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Trends in kinds of hot drinks drunk most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Trends in kinds of hot drinks drunk most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Trends in where drink hot drinks most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Trends in where drink hot drinks most, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Who Eats School Meals?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, by detailed demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, by attitudes towards school meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, by attitudes towards school meals, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Parents’ Attitudes Towards School Dinners

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most popular attitudes towards school meals, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Most popular attitudes towards school meals, by detailed demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Next most popular attitudes towards school meals, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Next most popular attitudes towards school meals, by detailed demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards school meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards school meals, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Next most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards school meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Next most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards school meals, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Next most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Next most popular attitudes towards school meals, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Parents’ Attitudes Towards Children’s General Eating Habits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by detailed demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Next most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Next most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by detailed demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Next most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Next most popular attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – School Meal Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • School meal target groups, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: School meal target groups, by detailed demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • School meal target groups, by child/children’s lunch during the week in term time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: School meal target groups, by child/children’s lunch during the week in term time, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • School meal target groups, by attitudes towards school meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: School meal target groups, by attitudes towards school meals, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • School meal target groups, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: School meal target gropus, by attitudes towards child’s general eating habits, April 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Aramark Corporation (UK office)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Big Lottery Fund
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Birds Eye Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Hospitality Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Costa
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Department of Health
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Food Standards Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Islington Council
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • McDonald's Restaurants Limited (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Nestlé UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pizza Hut
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rentokil Initial Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • School Nutrition Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Scolarest
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sodexo
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Unilever Bestfoods UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              School Meals - UK - August 2009

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