Retail N Illinois

Cush & Wake: Communal food courts are out, consumers want quality food halls

Cushman Wakefield growth global food beverage market,ph01

The once influential mall food court, where you could enjoy a greasy slice of Sbarro pizza in cheap communal seating after a shopping trip, has been ousted by trendy, locally-focused food halls.

Food and beverage account for more than 20 percent of space in new and redeveloped shopping centers in established markets, according to a report from Cushman & Wakefield. While mainstream tenants still dominate, landlords are now giving more attention to diversity. The food hall has evolved and has led to shopping centers creating different zones for shopping, dining and leisure within its space.

The market is driven by a global increase in consumer spending on dining out, Cushman & Wakefield reported. Consumers enjoy social and leisure activities while shopping, so analysts expect spending at restaurants, cafes or bars at shopping centers to grow over the next 10 years.

All four global regions saw growth in food and beverage expenditure led by Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa. Data from Oxford Economics estimates that food and beverage spending will grow at an annual average of 7.4 percent until 2026 in both these regions.

Cushman & Wakefield also believes there will be a demand for variety. This means providing options like restaurants with food and beverage counter service, bakeries, selling cooking-related products and cooking classes adding to the trend of “edutainment”

Only a few international players offer such options so there is the opportunity for more high-quality operators to enter new markets.

“The link between shopping and eating is stronger than ever and is evident in the significant growth in F&B outlets in recent years, particularly in shopping centers,” Garrick Brown, Cushman & Wakefield Vice President of Retail Research, Americas said in a statement. “While the short to medium-term outlook is positive, strong recent growth in the sector means competition in some of the more mature markets such as the U.S. and U.K. is intensifying. As a result, weaker operators may struggle if economic growth begins to moderate and consumers rein back on discretionary spending.”