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Night-time foodservice visits see rapid growth

The overnight OOH market is worth close to £1.2bn, having broken the billion-pound consumer spend barrier in the 12 months to May 2018, according to The NPD Group.

This segment saw 257 million visits over the past year and, although this is still only a small proportion of the 11.3 billion OOH visits made by Brits, it's a day-part that is quickly gaining ground, making up 83% of overall growth in the market.

In fact, NPD predicts visits could expand to some 300 million visits by the end of 2020, to create a market potentially worth £1.5 billion.

London has provided much of the overnight momentum and now accounts for 26% of traffic between the hours of midnight and 7am with over 67 million visits annually. The capital’s overnight foodservice market grew 38% in visits in the two years ending May 2018.

Large cities, especially in the north of England and in Scotland – including Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinbugh – are building night-time business with 20% average visit growth over the past two years.

However, cities in Wales, the Midlands and the east of England – including Cardiff, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Oxford, Cambridge and Norwich – are less successful between midnight and 7am having seen visits dip by -6% on average.

Britain’s QSR outlets are particularly successful in this new market. On a 24-hour basis, QSR brands grew visits by just under 3% over the two years ending May 2018. But in the overnight market, they have grown visits by nearly 27% over the same period – nine times faster.

According to the figures, consumers are much more likely to seek special promotions at night involving vouchers, discounts or meal deals. On any given day, around 28% of visits involve an offer or a promotion of some kind, while at night this jumps to 46%. But the bulk of the market is grab-and-go, accounting for 75% of night-time visits compared to the lower figure of 55% when measured across the full day.

What's more, the research found that an outlet selling coffee that is open any time between midnight and 7am is three times more likely to be visited during this overnight and early morning period, than during the rest of the day.


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