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THE CHANGING FACE OF BRITISH MENUS: HAS SIRLOIN STEAK LOST ITS APPEAL FOR GOOD?

Posted in Credit Crunch,Diet,Economics,Food Trends,Foodservice Footprint news by foodservicefootprint on April 16, 2009

steak-no-moreChicken breast has overtaken sirloin steak as the most frequently listed main course item on pub, restaurant and hotel menus, according to new research from market analyst Horizons

Horizons’ biannual Menurama research looks at the dishes listed on Britain’s restaurant, hotel and pub menus*. Its latest results clearly reveal the impact of higher costs and price-conscious consumers with last year’s most frequently listed main course menu items of sirloin steak, veggie burger, sausage and mash, fish and chips and rump steak being replaced by chicken breast, fish & chips, Sunday lunch and risotto (excluding pizza and burgers).

“Our findings demonstrate that establishments have altered their menus to include cheaper items in response to financial pressures. Premium ingredients have been dropped in favour of more economical dishes and we are seeing the emergence of more traditional British recipes such as meatballs and stews. Fish is also making a stronger appearance on British menus along with vegetable-based starters,” commented Horizons’ managing director Peter Backman.

“Dishes such as fajitas, mixed grills and some pasta dishes have declined in popularity due to the rising cost of raw ingredients and because operators are continuing to evolve their menus in an effort to give consumers something different, something that they wouldn’t cook at home. Spiralling meat costs have prompted operators to reduce the weights of their core meat dishes such as beef burgers and steaks.”

While vegetable starters are showing more prominence on menus, Menurama also notes the return of traditional and game meats such as mutton, rabbit and guinea fowl, although fish and seafood main course dishes are being featured more strongly with haddock, calamari and sea bass appearing in the top 10 fish-based ingredients used. Salmon, meatballs and chicken salad have all appeared in the top 20 list for the first time this year.

But despite a rising popularity for British-based main courses, desserts seem to be moving away from the traditional. British puds such as sticky toffee pudding, fruit crumble and sponge pudding, all of which made the top 10 most frequently listed dessert in January 2008, are now less popular on menus than cheesecake, brownie, and profiteroles. Topping the most frequently listed desserts, however, are still ice cream and sundaes, although ice cream now takes the number one slot.

When it comes to price trends, Menurama reveals it is now costing consumers around 3% more to eat out than it was a year ago, with average spend across all types of outlets at just over £6, up from £5.91 in January 2008.

A two-course meal in a pub restaurant costs an average of £10.99, compared with £10.95 in January 2008. Hotels have got slightly cheaper with an average two-course meal costing £18.48, compared with £19.67 a year ago. A two-course meal in a restaurant now costs just over £14.88, up from £14.30 in January 2008.

* The Menurama analysis was based on menus collected from the top 100 multiple and branded chain foodservice operators and leading independents in January 2009

PRESS RELEASE
16 April 2009

 For further comment and detail please email press@horizonsforsuccess

2 Responses to 'THE CHANGING FACE OF BRITISH MENUS: HAS SIRLOIN STEAK LOST ITS APPEAL FOR GOOD?'

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  1. Hi, good post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for writing. I will definitely be subscribing to your site.

  2. Mark said,

    I do not believe that the reason people have moved away from dishes such as Steak is because of the cost. A lot of it is because that these dishes are not cooked correctly and the standard of the meat used is not of as high a quality.

    I believe that people will still pay that little bit more if (a) The quality of the meat is good – i.e hung for 21 days, sourced locally and (b) the Chef cooking it can do so correctly i.e a medium steak being pink in the centre but with no blood running.

    It may be costing more to eat out but there are other ways for business to make money without cuting back on the quality of the ingredients, thus keeping the Customers coming back for more.


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