Britons Gluttons for Eating Out

22 August 2006

A cultural shift in the UK reveals consumers are spending more on dining out than on buying food to eat at home, according to latest figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Spending on eating out (which runs the gamut of cuisine from haute to junk wolfed-down in the street) rose by 102% between 1992 and 2004, reaching £87.5 billion ($165.8bn; €128.6bn). The amount spent on home cooking rose 53.4% to £85.5bn during the same period.

The ONS report, which looks at changing trends in the UK economy, also shows that computer and related services were the fastest growing industry group between 1992 and 2004.

But finance and business services remain the biggest single sector in the UK - making up a third of the economy in 2004.

A gloomier picture is painted of the country's manufacturing industry, despite an unexpected fillip in 2004. Manufacturing's share of the economy was just 14.1% in 2004, as opposed to 21.7% in 1995 - driven by the lurch eastwards of textile and heavy goods production.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff