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Expenditure on food services in the United Kingdom (UK) 1997-2018, based on volume

Annual expenditure on catering services in the United Kingdom, recorded based on chained volume measures, has fluctuated over two decades. UK households decreased their spending on catering services in 2009. Since then however expenditure has gradually recovered, reaching over 92 billion British pounds in 2018.

Spending in the food service market

Looking at catering service expenditure based on current prices, spending between 2009 and 2018 showed a steeper incline. The figures differ as chained volume measures allow the user to see changes in expenditure due to changes in the volume of catering services used, rather than due to the price of services sold. Comparing the two sets of data, it could be suggested that consumers were spending more due to a rise in the price of food services, rather than due to a rise in the frequency of eating out, although this was likely to also be a contributing factor.

Catering or food services?

Catering services, as defined by the source, include food and drinks sold in various types of out-of-home outlets, such as bars, canteens, restaurants and cafés, kiosks, by street vendors and automatic vending machines. Different terms are used across the industry to incorporate all the various aspects of food and beverage serving activities, including the 'eating out market' and the 'out-of-home food market'. Catering services in this respect are not to be confused with specific types of catering, such as contract catering and event catering.

Annual expenditure on catering services in the United Kingdom (UK) from 1997 to 2018, based on volume*

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Release date

June 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

1997 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Household final consumption expenditure based on chained volume measures (seasonally adjusted). Figures are given here in volume terms rather than value terms to give a better picture of whether households purchased more or less goods and services over the period in consideration.
Catering services includes canteens, restaurants, cafés, bars, kiosks, street vendors, automatic vending machines and similar.

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