The price of dining out is tumbling as big pub chains bring their supermarket-style power to bear when buying in bulk. Mitchells & Butlers is now the largest purchaser of turkeys in Britain while JD Wetherspoon is the largest purchaser of beef. As a result, the pub companies can bring prices down to below what it costs to assemble the ingredients at home. The eating out market is worth £27.5bn a year, up more than 25% since 2000. Some 35% of all food spending is now outside the home, compared with only 20% just over a decade ago. But this figure still lags behind America, where the proportion is more than 50%. Analysts predict that food quality will continue improving while prices keep coming down. Pubs will increasingly compete with higher end offerings like Pizza Express and Café Rouge, which have more extensive waiter service and offer more of a dining room experience. The Sunday Telegraph 17/09/06 (Business) page 7