Challenges for Dutch Operators
Older consumers and single people offer big opportunities for businesses in the Dutch foodservice industry in the coming years. It is vital that entrepreneurs seize these opportunities because the economic recession and political uncertainty have already resulted in reduced out-of-home spending in the Netherlands for a few years now. A report by Karel de Vos.
Seniors and singles offer great opportunities - this is one of the main conclusions of the 1st FoodShopper Monitor by Food-Service Instituut Nederland (FSIN), an independent organisation which collects and analyses data on out-of-home food and drink consumption. The basis of the report is continuous consumer research, carried out for FSIN by Gfk Panel Services. Because of the uncertainty over the economy, Europe and the austerity measures announced by the cabinet which has since fallen, Dutch con sumers prefer to save rather than spend. The foodservice industry has been severely affected by this. Particularly, the group of traditional restaurants and more expensive food pubs: 65% of consumers visit these less often or spend less money when they do. Traditional snack bars, too, are feeling the impact: 43% of consumers are cutting back on their spending at snack bars; instead they buy chips, snacks and pizzas more often at the super market. Consumers are more careful in the way they spend their euros on food and drink: they look for the right price value ratio. They are particularly interested in buying products at a good price, in clean establishments with a fast, friendly service. They are less and less put off by self-service or counter- service. Dutch consumers also seem to be increasingly susceptible to promotions and meal deals, particularly of fast food formulas, food pubs, sandwich bars and food retail. Older consumers
One of the opportunities for foodservice in the Netherlands lies with the older consumer, as shown by the report. Thisconsumer eats and drinks out of home more and more. For instance, as far as the catering industry is concerned, 72% of 50- to 64-year-olds visit a pub, restaurant, hotel or leisure outlet at least once a week. In the 65 plus category, this even rises to 82%. The reason: the babyboomers (born between 1945 and 1955) are the first generation who have been used to out-of-home food and drink consumption from an early age. Now that they have enough time and money, they like to carry on doing this, although they do look at price value ratio very carefully. Restaurant and quickservice industry could tailor their products better to the older consumer. Many food-servicebusinesses hardly target this group or do not target it enough. They could do this, for instance, by providing smaller portions (‘senior dishes'), a choice between bigger and smaller rolls, a greater selection of wines per glass, two-course menus, catering to special dietary needs (less salt, gluten free) or through 55 plus deals. Single people
Single people form another major target group. They mostly look for convenience: 86% of young single people (aged 15 to 40) regularly consume food or drinks out of home; in older single people (aged 40 and above) this amounts to 78%. Single people cook less often, eat at work or school more frequently, get more take-away food, have food delivered fairly regularly, and buy products at restaurants/ food pubs and convenience outlets more often.
| 13 June 2012 |