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Spain tops the table for eating out in Europe

Spain tops the table for eating out in Europe

Spain has the largest consumer foodservice market in Europe, according to a new report published this month by Euromonitor International Consumer Foodservice in Spain.

The vast number of Spaniards and tourists eating and drinking out in Spain has generated sales worth a staggering €99 billion in 2006 placing it far ahead of Italy, the second largest market in Europe, worth €76 billion in 2006.
Spain also accounts for almost a third of the total number of cafes and bars in Western Europe.

Top 5 countries in Europe: foodservice value sales 2006 (€mn)

1. Spain: 98,920.8

2. Italy: 76,794.0

3. UK: 64,760.4

4. France: 41,291.4

5. Germany: 28,605.0

Netherlands: 9,307.8

Spain’s vibrant tourism industry, with over 57 million tourists a year, is central to the success of its foodservice.

Changing tourism patterns in Spain - with more tourists than ever visiting cities such as Madrid and Barcelona on short breaks, rather than heading South on package holidays - are boosting foodservice sales.

Euromonitor’s Pablo Saez Gil, explains, “Tourists on independent holidays tend to dine at local restaurants, and even familiar global fast food outlets, rather than opting for
self-catering facilities offered at traditional seaside destinations.

"Foodservice sales are benefiting from the increasing number of visitors to Spanish cities, helping to lessen the over-reliance of the industry on summertime trade”.

Medium sized cities, such as Valencia, Zaragoza and Bilbao are also seeing a rise in tourists visiting their bars and restaurants.

Saez Gil points out, “Valencia will host the 32nd America’s Cup this year, attracting a large number of wealthy tourists and helping to further develop its extensive consumer foodservice market.

"As more Spanish cities become increasingly cosmopolitan, the growing range of international foodservice options on offer will drive growth further.”

The entrenched tradition of eating and drinking out in Spain is the second key factor behind the huge foodservice market in Spain, according to Euromonitor International.

This long-established eating-out tradition is now being boosted by the growing number of outlets offering foreign food, a trend which is already well-established in the cosmopolitan cities of Madrid and Barcelona and is forecast to spread across the rest of the country over the next five years.

Euromonitor International predicts that value sales through Asian full-service restaurants, for example, will grow by 14 per cent by 2010, generating a further €27 million.

South American food outlets are also forecast to flourish in Madrid, predominantly due to the large immigrant population residing there, but will also spread rapidly to other large cities such as Valencia.

North African fast food on the other hand, will have a higher presence along the south coast, with outlets then spreading northwards throughout the country.

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