• A strong Food & Beverage offer drives footfall and increases time spent shopping
  • It’s overall importance varies dramatically by market and is influenced by cultural differences
  • Consumer expectations have risen making an enhanced overall experience increasingly important

Almost a third of all visitors to shopping centres across Europe, South Africa and the Middle East will visit a restaurant or coffee shop, according to the latest Food and Beverage (F&B) report by global property advisor CBRE. Shoppers in the UAE, South Africa, Turkey, Romania and Spain particularly identified with shopping centres as a key food and beverage destinations.

The report surveyed 22,000 customers across 22 markets in Europe, South Africa and the Middle East to understand what their perceptions were of F&B within the shopping centre environment. The results showed that 59% of shoppers in the UAE, 57% in South Africa, 52% in Turkey, 51 % in Poland and 42% in Spain visit a shopping centre just to eat or drink.

Moreover, even if their main reason for visiting a centre was to eat and drink, an average of 40% of people then go on to shop.

Peter Gold, Head of EMEA Cross Border Retail, CBRE
We know that a shopping centre is more than the sum of its parts: it’s about the overall proposition. With shopping centres competing for shopper attention, F&B is increasingly important as a footfall and revenue driver.
A strong food and beverage offer fits with the notion that shopping is a leisure activity. Customers not only have a ‘desire’ to shop, but have a ‘need’ to eat. With that in mind, our research shows that more than 40% of people will visit shops even if their primary reason to visit was to eat or drink.
Peter Gold, Head of EMEA Cross Border Retail, CBRE
Andrew Phipps, Head of Retail Research and Consulting, CBRE EMEA
The differences in perception across Europe and the Middle East are mainly cultural. In the Middle East and Turkey, a visit to a mall is seen as an important leisure activity as well as a time-efficient way to shop. Traditionally, their F&B offer has been more inviting, however climate also has an impact, whether it is inclement weather typical in northern European countries or the extreme heat experienced in the Middle East. In all cases the result is consumers preferring to shop and/or eat in the same place, since this means less exposure to the elements.
These local cultural differences have a huge impact in the way a shopping centre should be designed and should cater for its customers. With 42% of people across EMEA visiting a shopping centre once a week or more and 36% rating food and a beverage as very or extremely important, an innovative, well curated food and beverage line-up provides a much richer experience to shopping centre visitors, encouraging them to make regular return visits.
Andrew Phipps, Head of Retail Research and Consulting, CBRE EMEA

To view the Food and Beverage report, please click here.