The Full English breakfast is under threat, as diners switch to lighter options

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

The Full English breakfast is under threat, as diners switch to lighter options

Related tags: Meal

The UK’s love affair with a morning fry up and a Sunday roast is on the wane, according to new figures, with diners shunning traditional hearty British meals for lighter options.

Traditional British dishes including the full English and fish and chips as well as curry have lost popularity at lunch and dinner, according to MCA’s Eating Out Panel for the fourth quarter of 2017. At lunch, there has also been a decrease in roast occasions, says MCA.

The report points to diners increasingly choosing lighter and healthier meals when eating out as a reason for the decrease in more hearty British dishes. Over the past year there has been a growth in the number of restaurants serving vegetarian and vegan dishes and generally putting lighter dishes on at lunch and dinner.

The Full English, a long-term staple of the UK's morning diet, is falling in popularity as a breakfast option, with a younger generation of diners opting for perceived healthier dishes, such as granola and avocado on toast.

Consumers are also eating out less, according to the report, and have cut visit frequency at every day-part over the past year. The largest decreases, of 9%, have been on dinner as economising consumers drop some of the larger, higher spend occasions, as well as on snacks, which have suffered from cutbacks in more discretionary purchases in-between meals.

The data shows that, despite menu price inflation of around 3% over the past year, average spend has decreased by 2.6% to £7.72 at lunch and 3.6% to £17.85 at dinner, as consumers trade down to lower price dishes and/or have fewer dishes overall.

Breakfast frequency decreased 6% between Q4 2016 and Q4 2017 but the day-part now accounts for a record high share of total out of home meal and snack visits, at 16.1%. Spend on breakfast has increased, however, up 2% to an average of £5.05.

To find out more about the Eating Out Panel or other MCA insight reports, contact

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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