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Sports Venue Catering - UK - May 2009

The market for sports venue catering is entering very challenging times having enjoyed a period of strong growth during the past five years. Operators report signs of consumers trading down, with the result that average spend per head seems certain to fall back during 2009. This is especially true if attendance figures decline as predicted in the wake of the recession.

Consumer research for this report shows that consumer perceptions and experiences of sports venue catering are still quite negative, particularly in the areas of quality, price and choice, so it seems that there continues to be plenty of room for improvement.

This report assesses the current status of the market, looking at the performance of its major component sectors and providing insights into the likely impact of the recession. It also looks at consumer behaviour in terms of visiting sports venues, buying food and drink from them and also consumer attitudes towards various aspects of sports venue catering.

This report examines the following hypothesis: ‘With recession concerns now adding to the long-term barriers of development (length of queues, quality of food perceptions, etc), trading conditions are increasingly tough in the sports venue catering market. Will catering be the first area on which consumers cut back?’

Main issues

  • Impact of the recession – is catering in sports venues the first area to be cut in consumers’ leisure spending, or is it still seen as integral to the experience?

  • Innovation – how are operators responding to consumer concerns about speed of service, quality, value and choice?

  • How can operators respond to the ‘double whammy’ of declining sales and rising overheads?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Benchmarking against the high street to improve perceptions of quality and value
              • Fast, family-friendly food?
                • Softly, softly approach wins the day…
                • Market in Brief

                  • Caterers make headway but cost, quality and choice issues remain
                    • Economic situation set to bring focus firmly on value…
                      • …while overheads continue to rise
                        • Health clubs and leisure centres dominate…
                          • …while horseracing and football are biggest sports for caterers
                            • Genuine innovation rare as caterers look to refine…
                              • …but technology helping to bust queues
                                • Contract caterers predominate, but specialists hold their own
                                  • A third of visitors to sports venues still not buying food/drink
                                    • Cost, poor quality, limited choice and queues…
                                      • …drive people to eat at home or elsewhere
                                      • Internal Market Environment

                                        • Key points
                                          • Spectator admission trends
                                            • TV versus being there
                                              • Pros
                                                • Cons
                                                  • TV schedules play havoc with takings
                                                    • The problem of queues
                                                      • Overheads continue to rise
                                                        • Legal restrictions hinder development in football sector
                                                          • Proposals to increase half-time breaks in football scrapped
                                                          • Broader Market Environment

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Strategy decisions to be made as recession takes hold
                                                                • Figure 1: Trends in personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                                                              • Football and health clubs to benefit from pre-/no family growth
                                                                • Figure 2: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                                              • Age trends positive for some sectors
                                                                • Figure 3: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender and age, 2004-14
                                                              • Impact of the recession on the eating out market
                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Figure 4: Consumer expenditure on selected leisure goods and activities, 2008
                                                              • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                  • Strengths
                                                                    • A captive audience
                                                                      • Long dwell times at some types of venue/event
                                                                        • Buying power of contractors
                                                                          • Operational flexibility of contractors
                                                                            • Eating out as part of the experience
                                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                                                • Restrictions
                                                                                  • Queues
                                                                                    • Quality/prices
                                                                                      • Choice/range
                                                                                        • External competitors
                                                                                          • The recession
                                                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Refining, rather than reinventing, is the order of the day
                                                                                                • Operators try to broaden choice
                                                                                                  • Ethnic experiments
                                                                                                    • Serving people faster
                                                                                                      • Putting the theatre back into sports venue catering
                                                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Figure 5: UK sports venue catering market size, 2004-14
                                                                                                        • Unquenched thirst for sport drives revenues
                                                                                                          • Trading down and quest for value increasing features of market
                                                                                                            • Future market performance
                                                                                                              • Factors used in forecast
                                                                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Health clubs and leisure centres dominate the market
                                                                                                                    • Figure 6: UK sports venue catering market, by sector, 2004-08
                                                                                                                  • Catering at private health and fitness clubs
                                                                                                                    • Catering at public leisure centres and swimming pools
                                                                                                                      • Catering at racecourses
                                                                                                                        • Catering at football grounds
                                                                                                                          • Catering at cricket grounds
                                                                                                                            • Catering at rugby union grounds
                                                                                                                              • Catering at rugby league grounds
                                                                                                                                • Catering at motor sports events
                                                                                                                                  • Catering at golf tournaments
                                                                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Industry structure
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 7: Leading players in the sports venue catering market and the sectors in which they operate, March 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Compass Group plc
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 8: Key financial data for Compass Group plc, 2005-08
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 9: Compass Group plc, major UK sports catering contracts, March 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Sodexo SA
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 10: Key financial data for Sodexo SA, 2005-08
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 11: Sodexo SA, major UK sports catering contracts, March 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Elior UK
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Elior, major UK sports catering contracts, March 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Lindley Group
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 13: Key financial data for Lindley Catering Holdings Ltd, 2004-07
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Lindley Group, major UK sports catering contracts, March 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Other players
                                                                                                                                              • SFC Group
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: SFC Group, major UK sports catering contracts, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Delaware North Companies (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Delaware North Companies (UK), major UK sports catering contracts, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Sports Venue Outlets Used

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Operators missing out on the third of visitors who don’t eat at venues
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Sports venues visited, by sports venue participation and catering use, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Public leisure centres and private fitness clubs
                                                                                                                                                      • Racing
                                                                                                                                                        • Football grounds and rugby clubs
                                                                                                                                                          • Golf
                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Sports Venue Catering

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Attitudes towards leisure sports venue catering, by sports venue participation and catering use, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                            • Catering opportunities limited by the participatory/spectator nature of the sports
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Most popular sports venue catering outlets, by attitudes towards sports venue catering, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                            • Brands strong at football grounds
                                                                                                                                                              • Affluent consumers unimpressed
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by general leisure activities, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Family or children-only express tills?
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Next most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by general leisure activities, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Revenue lost because of poor quality and lack of choice
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by attitudes towards sports venue catering, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Caterers can score by offering more healthy foods
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Next most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by attitudes towards sports venue catering, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                            • General Leisure Activities of Sports Venue Consumers

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Agreement with attitudinal statements on leisure activities, by sports venue participation and catering use, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Venues could motivate customers with food theatre
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Most popular general leisure activities of sports venue consumers, by sports venue catering outlets used, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Hook health club members by showing them something new?
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Next most popular general leisure activities of sports venue consumers, by sports venue catering outlets used, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Sports Venue Catering – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Sports venue catering target groups, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Eat Before
                                                                                                                                                                  • Discerning
                                                                                                                                                                    • Queue Averse
                                                                                                                                                                      • Experience Lovers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Eat Elsewhere
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Sports Venue Catering Outlets Used

                                                                                                                                                                          • Most popular sports venue catering outlets used, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Most popular sports venue catering outlets used, by detailed demographics, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Next most popular sports venue catering outlets used, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Next most popular sports venue catering outlets used, by detailed demographics, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – General Leisure Activities of Sports Venue Consumers

                                                                                                                                                                          • Most popular attitudes towards leisure activities, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Most popular attitudes towards leisure activities, by detailed demographics, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Next most popular attitudes towards leisure activities, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Next most popular attitudes towards leisure activities, by detailed demographics, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Sports Venue Catering

                                                                                                                                                                          • Most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by detailed demographics, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Most popular attitudes towards sports venue catering, by detailed demographics, October/November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Sports Venue Catering – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                          • Sports venue catering target groups, by detailed demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Sports venue catering target groups, by detailed demographics, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Sports venue catering target groups, by sports venues visited
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Sports venue catering target groups, by sports venues visited, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Sports venue catering target groups, by food/drink bought at sports venues
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Sports venue catering target groups, by food/drink bought at sports venues, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Sports venue catering target groups, by attitudes towards sports venue catering
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Sports venue catering target groups, by attitudes towards sports venue catering, January 2009

                                                                                                                                                                        Sports Venue Catering - UK - May 2009

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