FPI Annual Briefing 2022: Five takeaways for UK restaurants

Cost of living challenges, value for money perceptions and food trends were all on the agenda at the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index Annual Briefing 2022
Foodservice price index 2022
Earlier this month, Egg Soldiers attended the 2022 annual briefing of the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index (FPI) in central London, with the event highlighting ongoing cost of living challenges across the industry.

A key message for all UK operators from the briefing was that the cost-of-living crisis is going to get worse before it gets better, and that businesses need to keep focusing on delivering great experiences that represent good value to customers.

Addressing kitchen operational efficiencies and improving supply chains were among the mitigation strategies discussed, with the almost £1 raise in the minimum wage in April set to have a huge impact on the UK foodservice industry.

The FPI annual briefing 2022 also featured key UK consumer insights gleaned from recent research projects, as well as the latest on foodservice price inflation.

Here, we reveal five of the main takeaways from the FPI annual briefing 2022:

Foodservice price inflation exceeds 20% for the first time
At the FPI annual briefing 2022, inflation was revealed to have reached 19.9% in October. By November, for the first time in the history of the Index; foodservice price inflation had exceeded 20%, marking the 10th consecutive month of double-digit inflation.

However, Shaun Allen, CEO at Prestige Purchasing, says he expects inflation to begin to level off in December, with a gradual decline commencing in the New Year as the impacts of the less challenging upstream influences and year-on-year effects begin to feed through into the Index.

Eating out remains high on the consumer agenda
According to a CGA survey of 1,178 UK and Irish consumers, 69% either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: "Eating and drinking out is the treat I most look forward to."

And despite small drops of 4% and 8% respectively compared to September, eating and drinking out was revealed to be "the main way" that 58% of respondents socialise with others, and a "fundamental activity" for 45%.

Affordability is obviously a big consumer talking point due to the cost-of-living crisis, yet 48% of respondents still agreed with the statement: "Eating and drinking out is an affordable treat for me."
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Value for money remains a key area to watch for operators
While the majority of UK and Irish respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied in the past month with the quality of their foodservice experiences (including food, drinks, service and overall experience); only 50% were satisfied in terms of 'value for money'.

Value for money = Quality over price tag
In terms of 'value for money' among UK consumers when eating out, CGA found both "a good deal" and "something that is good quality" were the top two answers among 996 survey respondents (41% and 40% respectively).

It also found that 'cheaper' doesn't equate to value for money among respondents, with only 16% agreeing that "something on offer/discounted" delivers value, and 14% viewing "a cheap option" within hospitality as value for money.

Trying the Trends: What Consumers Want
Food trends were also discussed at the FPI annual briefing 2022, with 48% of UK consumers said to be willing to try premium fish and chips.

This was followed by modern British cafés/new 'greasy spoons' (39%) which, as we've recently discussed at length, are very much part of the rise of nostalgia-driven comfort food trends in the UK, pioneered in London by the likes of Norman's Cafe.

Seaweed also finds itself high up the list, with both health and sustainability credentials, coupled with the mainstream success of Japanese Cuisine in the UK, helping increase interest among consumers.
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