Operators and suppliers have a great chance to capitalise on consumers’ desire to treat themselves to special meals this Valentine’s Day, despite missing out on the annual surge in eating out.

CGA’s research has shown the willingness of many consumers to spend freely to mark the occasion this year, and with two thirds planning to celebrate by getting food from restaurants, takeaways, pubs and bars, the MealMetrics service shows how businesses can take advantage if they optimise their menus.

CGA’s service, which tracks dish-level daily sales, identifies the popularity of steaks in particular, with rib eye steak being the biggest selling menu item on Valentine’s Day in 2020. Sirloin, fillet and rump steaks joined rib eye in the top five evening meal dishes, and attracted 14.4% of total food sales between them on 14 February—nearly twice their 8.0% share on an average day. Valentine’s Day sales of rib eye steaks were 182% up on the average day, with sirloin (up 136%) and fillet (up 156%) steaks also selling well over double their usual quantities.

Hawksmoor and Hickory’s are among brands that have already taken advantage of beef’s popularity by selling Valentine’s-themed beef-focused finish-at-home dishes this February. CGA’s data shows consumers’ interest in other meat dishes too, with burgers, carveries and mixed grills all in the top ten sellers on Valentine’s Day in 2020.

Sharing dishes and set menus are also popular on Valentine’s Day. Chateaubriand sales are four times that of an average day, whilst set menu dishes drive the highest rate of sale, at an average of £593 per site. This suggests that as well as choosing premium menu items to mark the day, consumers also like the impression of value for money that is conveyed by set menus.

After so long in lockdown, consumers are understandably keen to recreate at home the kind of food experience they enjoy in restaurants, pubs and bars,” says CGA client director Fiona Speakman.

“There’s a widespread readiness to pay extra for premium options, and set menus that strike the right balance of quality and value have an enduring appeal. The On Premise will badly miss Valentine’s Day this year, but it still has an excellent opportunity to tempt people away from supermarket purchases.”

CGA’s MealMetrics service uncovers dish-level insights into eating-out in Britain, tracking value and volume rate of sale, pricing, distribution and much more. Drawing on £4bn of aggregated food till sales data from more than 7,000 pubs, bars and restaurants, it is designed to help businesses understand trends in meal choices and pricing, and improve category strategies and sales propositions. To learn more about MealMetrics, contact Fiona Speakman at fiona.speakman@cga.co.uk.

The ‘Celebrating Valentine’s at Home’ report, part of CGA’s exclusive 2021 Hospitality Consumer Forecast series, is available now.

     

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