Foodservice research agency NPD Group has warned that the government’s controversial plans to levy a 20% tax on hot food bought to eat out of the home – already dubbed ‘pastygate’ by Cornish pasty fans – may also damage soaring sales of sausage rolls
Quick-service restaurants (QSR) take the lion’s share of hot lunchtime snacks, accounting for 82% of all sausage rolls and 83% of all pasties sold.
According to NPD, the market for both lines grew strongly in 2011 across QSR outlets. Sausage rolls sales surged by 4.8% year-on-year to 124 million servings, while pasties reversed the sharp declines of 2009 and 2010 to increase sales last year by 8.5% to 111.5 million servings.
“Hot sausage rolls and pasties are a popular lunchtime staple, generally eaten on weekdays and in fast food outlets. The fact that consumers may be ‘trading down’ to less expensive options, but still wanting to enjoy hot food, is also an important factor in their growth, “ said Guy Fielding, business development manager for food service, Europe.
“The proposed VAT introduction definitely has the potential to damage that growth. The extent of that impact is something we’ll be able to gauge only in the next six months.”
By Angela Frewin
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