Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons FS, offered some insights into the foodservice sector.
“Pubs – especially managed branded operators – have shown good food growth. But they’ve had to because their traditional wet sales are going downhill. The smoking ban is proving bad for pubs at the moment. But although it’s still early days, Horizons is forecasting an increase of pound;190m next year in food sales over and above what they would have been, as a direct result of the positive impact of the smoking ban.
“Hotels, and the leisure sector, suffer from an ongoing problem with food. They don’t really like it – or they don’t understand it. Their main function in life is not serving food and they don’t really know how to cope with it. Nevertheless, they have done reasonably well over the years and we expect the upward trend to continue because there are more tourists.
“The state of the institutional sector, the self-run bit, has been badly hit by the Jamie Oliver effect. School meals fell by a third last year but that run is over and the market will turn up again.”