Contract catering reaches £3bn

A new study on the contract catering industry concludes that the industry now has a value of almost £3bn. The report from Apex Insight indicates significant volume growth from catering having been a leader in the UK’s outsourcing revolution while price increases have been fuelled by rises in global food costs.

Future market growth is likely given continued outsourcing of catering in segments, such as the public sector, where significant in-house provision remains. The Olympics, which is expected to require around 14 million meals to be served, should provide a significant windfall gain in 2012.

However, warns the report, contract catering has been hit by the economic downturn, in particular through falls in employment levels leading to fewer people in the workplace requiring to be fed. Furthermore, there is uncertainty in key segments such as healthcare, where it is not yet clear how the residential care needs of an aging population will be paid for, and education, where increases in student numbers may stall given recent changes to university funding.

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