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UK Menu Trends market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Menu Trends market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this Report

This Report looks at food flavour trends on menus in the foodservice market and developments in eating out preferences in the UK. This Report highlights key trends currently affecting the eating out market and their effects on menu development. It also explores some of the major issues affecting the direction of the eating out market in general. This Report is primarily based on Mintel’s exclusive primary research of consumer attitudes and Mintel’s observations of the trends in the UK dining out market. This Report builds upon analysis presented in Menu Flavours - UK - February 2017.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Trish Caddy, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although older diners enjoy common cooking methods like roasting, steaming and stir frying, affluent 16-44-year-olds are driving the shift towards emerging food trends including smoking, curing, raw food, fermenting and pickling. Pizza brands are leveraging consumer demand for wood-fired oven cooking; however air pollution concerns may result in the banning of wood-fired ovens. Trish Caddy
Foodservice Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • The opportunities for growth
              • The challenges faced
                • Subdued consumer confidence
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Menu innovations
                      • Dining concepts
                        • The consumer
                          • Participation in eating out
                            • Figure 1: Participation in eating out, by dining occasions, November 2017
                          • Menu items by meal occasion
                            • Figure 2: Menu items by meal occasions, November 2017
                          • Factors that encourage trying new items
                            • Figure 3: Factors that encourage people to try new menu items, November 2017
                          • Food preparations
                            • Figure 4: Interests in food preparation methods, November 2017
                          • Menu trends
                            • Figure 5: Key menu trends, November 2017
                          • Consumer attitudes
                            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards menu trends, November 2017
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Attracting Millennials
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Appealing to older diners
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Delivering better deals
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                              • National living wage increases
                                                • Rising business rates
                                                  • Consumers face income squeeze
                                                    • Population trends
                                                      • Attitudes towards food
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Consumers face income squeeze
                                                          • Hospitality recruitment at its most difficult
                                                            • Rising business rates
                                                              • National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage
                                                                • Britain’s population
                                                                  • Figure 7: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2011-16 and 2016-21
                                                                • Trends in healthy food factors
                                                                  • Figure 8: Trends in healthy food factors, April 2016-November 2017
                                                                • Consumer attitudes towards food
                                                                  • Foodie-ism
                                                                    • Flexitarianism
                                                                      • Healthy eating
                                                                        • Figure 9: Trends in selected attitudes towards food, April 2016-November 2017
                                                                      • Higher standards create “halo” effect for meat
                                                                        • FSA issues new regulations on cooking burgers
                                                                          • Red Tractor toughens farm standards
                                                                            • Air pollution concerns could crush the wood-fired trend
                                                                            • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • New on the food menu
                                                                                • Notable dining concepts
                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                  • Menu trends that stand out
                                                                                    • Vegan menus
                                                                                      • Dipping sauces
                                                                                        • Wood-fired
                                                                                          • Smoking
                                                                                            • Curing
                                                                                              • Raw food
                                                                                                • Fermenting and pickling
                                                                                                  • Meat-led concepts
                                                                                                    • Fusion cuisine
                                                                                                      • Tapas-style dishes
                                                                                                        • Formats that stand out
                                                                                                          • Test kitchen menus
                                                                                                            • Dark kitchens
                                                                                                              • Open kitchens
                                                                                                                • Cook-it-yourself
                                                                                                                  • Menu pricing structures that stand out
                                                                                                                    • Dynamic pricing
                                                                                                                      • Fixed-price menus
                                                                                                                        • Non-refundable tickets
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                          • The brunch and breakfast boom
                                                                                                                            • Fewer than half order a starter, dessert or side at dinner time
                                                                                                                              • The lure of freebies and special offers
                                                                                                                                • Barbecuing and grilling are most popular cooking methods
                                                                                                                                  • Demand for “clean eating”
                                                                                                                                    • Examining the attitudes of diners
                                                                                                                                    • Participation in Eating Out

                                                                                                                                      • More than nine in ten Brits eat out
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 10: Overall participation in eating out, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • The consumers who eat out
                                                                                                                                        • Dinner and lunch
                                                                                                                                          • Brunch and breakfast
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Overall usage by dining occasions, November 2017
                                                                                                                                        • Menu Items by Meal Occasion

                                                                                                                                          • Dinner occasion
                                                                                                                                            • Lunch
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 12: Menu items, by meal occasions, November 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Brunch
                                                                                                                                              • Breakfast
                                                                                                                                              • Factors that Encourage Trialling New Items

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Factors that encourage people to try new menu items, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                  • Women prefer detailed flavour descriptions when trying new items
                                                                                                                                                    • Trial sides or dips chime with younger women
                                                                                                                                                      • Introducing new flavours to familiar dishes
                                                                                                                                                        • How social media can impact foot traffic
                                                                                                                                                        • Food Preparation Interest

                                                                                                                                                          • Barbecuing and grilling are most popular cooking methods
                                                                                                                                                            • Deep-frying
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Interests in food preparation methods, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                            • Urban Millennials drive wood-fired oven cooking
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Preference in cooking methods, by food trends, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                            • Common cooking methods appeal more to older consumers
                                                                                                                                                              • Roasting
                                                                                                                                                                • Stir frying
                                                                                                                                                                  • Steaming
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Interests in food preparation methods, by age, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                  • Affluent diners drive demand for lesser known food preparations
                                                                                                                                                                    • Smoking
                                                                                                                                                                      • Curing
                                                                                                                                                                        • Raw food
                                                                                                                                                                          • Fermenting or pickling
                                                                                                                                                                          • Key Menu Trends

                                                                                                                                                                            • Over-45s drawn to natural ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Key menu trends, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                            • Women are drawn to "clean eating" concepts
                                                                                                                                                                              • Demand for takeaway/home delivery driven by Millennials and families
                                                                                                                                                                                • Urban families driving nose-to-tail/root-to-tip cooking concepts
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Attitudes towards eating out, by food trends, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Menu Trends

                                                                                                                                                                                • Older consumers focus more on quality of meat…
                                                                                                                                                                                  • …while under-45s are eating more vegetables
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Attitudes towards menu trends, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Women enjoy sharing food at the table
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Better value for money from a fixed-price menu…
                                                                                                                                                                                      • …and preference for short menus
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Millennials will pay more for British…
                                                                                                                                                                                          • …and sustainable ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Attitudes towards menu trends, by attitudes towards menu trends, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Young men most drawn to fusion foods
                                                                                                                                                                                          • CHAID Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Making vegetables more family-friendly
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Menu trends – CHAID – Tree output, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: Menu trends – CHAID – Table output, November 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • CHAID analysis methodology