Business leaders across the eating out market (58%) expect further deterioration of trading conditions until at least July 2023, according to new research from Lumina Intelligence.

Its Wholesale Market Report found that many wholesale customers are seeking support from suppliers and government as discretionary consumer spend becomes increasingly tight.

The squeeze on household budgets was highlighted by 50% of business leaders as the most important long-term consumer trend impacting eating out and grocery this year, compared to 15% in 2021.

Forty-one percent also rated value conscious as a key long-term consumer trend.

It follows a drop in consumer confidence to a new low of -49 in September 2022, boosted by +2 points in October following the announcement of an energy price cap, according to GfK’s consumer confidence tracker.

The top nine wholesale operators in the UK are expected to see turnover growth accelerate to +9.7% in 2022, with foodservice players such as Brakes and Bidfood set to see growth of over +20%, with hospitality trade challenged but recovering across 2022.

The report also found that nearly half of foodservice operators (48%) have increased prices to reduce the impact increased costs, 15% have cut trading hours and 17% have reduced staff numbers.

While over half (51%) of responses from hospitality professionals noted that the impact of the cost of living crisis on consumer spending was a concern.

To find out more about the report, please click here.