Food & beverage (F&B) options are strengthening their presence in shopping centers globally and now often account for more than 20 percent of units in new and redeveloped retail projects in more mature markets, according to the latest report by Cushman & Wakefield. The trend is being driven by the global growth in consumer spending on eating out with a compelling F&B offer having become crucial to the success of any retail scheme, the study said. “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. We see this trend continuing for the foreseeable future, given that a high-quality F&B offer is now critical to the success of major retail destinations,” said Darren Yates, head of EMEA Retail Research & Insight at Cushman & Wakefield.
Even though Europe, home to relatively mature retail markets, is not expected to see as steep increases in consumer spending on eating out as some of the Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries, it is still forecast to experience a healthy annual F&B spending growth of around 4.9 percent in the coming years. Landlords will react to this by diversifying the F&B offering in shopping centers and creating different F&B zones, rather than one regular food court that was ubiquitous in malls in the past few decades. The growing significance of the F&B sector has been seen in the Polish market too. Anna Hofman, an associate in the retail agency of Cushman & Wakefield in Poland, said that F&B options have recently expanded in shopping centers in the country. She added that the sector is also expanding in the Polish high streets and pointed to the emergence of dedicated F&B concepts including Hala Koszyki in Warsaw.