UK foodservice to see critical boost should Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine come to fruition, says GlobalData

Following today’s news (Wednesday 2 December) that the UK has approved the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine;

Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on how this will impact the UK’s foodservice market:

UK foodservice profit operators overall have seen sales fall to under $71bn in 2020, against an initial pre-COVID forecast of $104bn. Operators in this sector have been pleading for more government support for months, and while this news may not be the helping hand they expected, it is a light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.

“As of November, *over two thirds of consumers have stated that they continue to either eat dinner outside of the home less often or have stopped altogether – with similar patterns occurring for other meal occasions. For those unable to adapt to a delivery format, this has obviously proved detrimental.

“In 2021, we may see the new normal of homebound consumers reverse after herd immunity is achieved. That said, the vaccine is not a miracle cure-all for the economy. Although this news may temporarily lift spirits, especially as Christmas is just around the corner, there is still a long road ahead and it remains imperative for operators to reaffirm safe dining practices in the near future.

“Notably, consumer sentiment is likely to be mixed. *According to GlobalData’s consumer survey, when asked how they feel these days, one in three UK consumers stated anxious – the highest response out of 19 options – while many have mixed emotions (26%). The public is sensing the political and economic undertones of the vaccine’s approval, as countries race to reverse the economic ramifications of the pandemic. This may lead some to be skeptical, and subsequently wish to wait and act with caution before opting in for treatment.”

* GlobalData 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Consumer Survey Results – UK – Published 10 November, 2020

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