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Report coverage

  • Business and Industry
  • Schools
  • Healthcare and Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Defence
  • Remote Sites

Company profiles

  • Aramark UK Ltd
  • Baxter Storey Ltd
  • CH & CO Catering
  • Compass Contract Services (UK) Ltd
  • Elior UK Plc
  • SSP Group Plc

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Francesco Salau, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Despite facing a series of headwinds the contract catering industry has continued to grow in 2019. Increased labour costs and falling business investment have held the sector back, but robust consumer spending and growth in the leisure economy have offered some reprieve. The sector’s unique position as a service provider and high street operator has seen it lead the way in innovation, and demonstrates quick strategical adaptation to shifting consumer preferences Francesco Salau
B2B Analyst


What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Growth hindered by challenging market conditions
              • Figure 1: UK contract catering market size, 2016-24
            • Companies and brands
              • Investment and growth characterised by acquisitions and coloured by ethics
                • The consumer
                  • Canteen popularity grew as under-45s usage increased
                    • Figure 2: Visitation of catering facilities, October 2019
                  • Drink and snacks popularity suggests a safe route to implementing restaurant vending
                    • Figure 3: Canteen purchasing habits, October 2019
                  • Quality and nutrition lead decision-making drivers
                    • Figure 4: Motivating factors behind consumer choice, October 2019
                  • Overlap between healthy and ethical eaters bridges generational preferences
                    • Figure 5: Attitudes towards workplace catering, October 2019
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Brexit may add to the costs of future minimum wage increases
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Vegetarian and vegan options have moved from niche to normal
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Growth hindered by challenging market conditions
                                  • Generational changes are shaping the market’s future
                                    • Public spending re-enters political debate as parties plan to splurge
                                    • Market Size

                                      • Growth hindered by challenging market conditions
                                          • Figure 6: UK contract catering market value, 2016-19
                                      • Market Forecast

                                        • Political party pledges will significantly boost demand for contract caterers
                                            • Figure 7: UK contract catering market forecast, 2019-24
                                        • The Impact of the Economy

                                          • Minimum wage rises and low unemployment risk a squeeze on staff
                                            • Consumer confidence stays buoyant despite economic turbulence
                                              • Figure 8: Mintel Financial Confidence Tracker, three-month average, October 2016-19
                                              • Figure 9: UK eating out market size, 2014-19
                                            • Brexit uncertainty has led to subdued business investment
                                                • Figure 10: UK business investment (excluding exceptional transfers), £ billion, Q2 2015 – Q3 2019
                                              • The potential impact of Brexit on the catering industry
                                              • Market Trends

                                                • Growth of serviced offices and flexible working open synergistic opportunities for caterers
                                                  • Retail venue catering offers relief to struggling high street retailers
                                                    • Successful M&A activity highlights the benefits of the horizontal growth model for providers of contract services
                                                      • Eating to minimise health and environmental impacts has opened the door for new products and services
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Employment rate remains at all-time high
                                                          • Figure 11: UK employment rate, % of adults aged 16+ in paid work, 2010-19
                                                          • Figure 12: Number of business outlets by selected employment size bands, 2015-19
                                                        • Number of schools down over the decade but university participation continues improving
                                                          • Figure 13: Number of schools (left axis) and pupils (right axis) in England, 2010-18
                                                          • Figure 14: Number of higher education qualifications obtained, academic year 2008/09 – 2017/18
                                                        • Number of hospital beds continues to fall but recovery is anticipated
                                                          • Figure 15: Number of overnight beds available and percentage occupied, England, Q1 2014/15 – Q2 2019/20
                                                        • Plans to reduce overcrowding set the stage for expansion in custodial sector
                                                          • Figure 16: Prison population projections, England and Wales, 2019-23
                                                        • Real-term increases in defence funding will reduce risk of contract cuts
                                                          • Figure 17: UK regular forces personnel numbers, 2014-19
                                                        • Promises of significant infrastructure investment could supercharge growth from the construction sector
                                                          • Figure 18: UK construction market value, 2014-18
                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Nutrition and sustainability are mandatory features of a successful future
                                                          • Mergers and acquisitions are becoming the primary driver of growth for large players
                                                            • Caterers lead the charge in adapting to a changing retail and leisure landscape
                                                            • Industry Structure

                                                                • Changes in industry structure
                                                                  • Figure 19: Changes in the structure of other food service activities, numbers of businesses and outlets, 2015-19
                                                                • Structure by employment
                                                                  • Figure 20: Changes in the employment structure of other food service activities, number of outlets by employment level, 2018 and 2019
                                                                • Structure by turnover
                                                                  • Figure 21: Changes in the financial structure of other food service activities, number of businesses by turnover band, 2018 and 2019
                                                              • Company Profiles

                                                                • Aramark Ltd (UK)
                                                                    • Figure 22: Financial analysis of Aramark Ltd, 2014-18
                                                                  • BaxterStorey Ltd
                                                                      • Figure 23: Financial analysis of BaxterStorey Ltd, 2014-18
                                                                    • CH&CO Catering Group Ltd
                                                                        • Figure 24: Financial analysis of CH&CO Catering Group Ltd, 2015-18
                                                                      • Compass Contract Services (UK) Ltd
                                                                          • Figure 25: Financial analysis of Compass Contract Services (UK) Ltd, 2014-18
                                                                        • Elior UK Plc
                                                                            • Figure 26: Financial analysis of Elior UK Plc, 2014-18
                                                                          • SSP Group Plc
                                                                              • Figure 27: Financial analysis of SSP Group Plc, 2014-18
                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Leisure economy growth opens more spaces for contract caterers
                                                                              • Gen Z and Young Millennials expect sustainable options
                                                                                • Drinks and snacks provide an alternative to comprehensive catering
                                                                                  • Both young and old prioritise healthy eating
                                                                                    • Caterers should position services as having social benefits
                                                                                    • Visitation of Catering Facilities

                                                                                      • Canteen popularity grows on all fronts
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Visitation of catering facilities, October 2019
                                                                                      • Gen Z and Young Millennials expect sustainable options
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Visitation of canteens in workplace and places of study, October 2019
                                                                                    • Canteen Purchasing Preferences

                                                                                      • Drinks and snacks provide an alternative to comprehensive catering
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Canteen purchasing habits, October 2019
                                                                                      • Meeting desire for healthy food is a flexible way to drive canteen usage
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Canteen purchasing interests, October 2019
                                                                                    • Decision-Making Factors

                                                                                      • Consumers value quality and nutrition more than a good deal
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Motivating factors behind consumer choice, October 2019
                                                                                      • Hygiene emerges as a new proxy for foodservice quality
                                                                                        • Meat alternatives
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Deterring factors, October 2019
                                                                                        • Attitudes towards Workplace Catering

                                                                                          • Caterers should position services as having both social and practical benefits
                                                                                            • Figure 34: Attitudes towards workplace catering, October 2019
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                              • Methodology
                                                                                              • Further Sources and Contacts

                                                                                                • Trade associations
                                                                                                  • Trade magazines
                                                                                                    • Trade events

                                                                                                    About the report

                                                                                                    This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                    • The Consumer

                                                                                                      What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                    • The Competitors

                                                                                                      Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                    • The Market

                                                                                                      Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                    • The Innovations

                                                                                                      New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                    • The Opportunities

                                                                                                      Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                    • The Trends

                                                                                                      What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.