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Christmas menu price hikes kept in check for a festive but affordable season

Research reveals how important Christmas menus are.

Christmas is just around the corner and menus across the fast-food industry feature festive treats, from special flavourings in coffees and ice creams to seasonal sandwiches and savoury snacks, seductive to shoppers and office workers alike.  

Although the Christmas menu represents only 5% of fast-food offerings over a typical year, for the most popular seasonal items, such as cookies and cakes, the winter months are important, making up more than 15% of the annual menu.  For hot beverages and sandwiches, festive offers amount to 11% and 8% respectively, as revealed by the latest research from Meaningful Vision.  

Meaningful Vision’s report finds price growth has slowed by the end of the year, from 16% in January to 11% in November.  Yet Christmas menu price rises were more modest than those seen among a regular assortment, increasing by only 8% over the previous year.  Examining the split between delivery and in-store price growth, predictably the cost for delivery has grown slightly faster at 11% compared to 7% for in-store.

Comparing Christmas menus by product category, hot drinks have the highest number of seasonal items.

READ MORE: Bakeries and coffee shops thrive as employees return to the office

Meaningful Vision’s research shows delivery prices for hot drinks prices have risen the most, witnessing growth of 13%, compared to only 6% in-store. Comparatively, delivery prices for cookies and cakes have only risen by 11%, whereas in-store prices have grown by 7%.  Amongst the offerings on a typical seasonal menu, sandwiches demonstrate the lowest price rises, with 9% growth in delivery prices, and 5% in-store.

“Whilst it can be argued the Christmas menu is a more important consideration for casual dining restaurants than for fast food, exciting new products or offers introduced over the festive season can, nevertheless, play an important role in attracting customers.  At a time of shrinking household budgets, the promise of good value is essential to keep consumers interested, providing the opportunity to eat out while Christmas shopping for example, on a budget to suit everyone," Meaningful Vision CEO, Maria Vanifatova said.

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