Who eats the most fast food?

Americans eat the most fast food, but the Japanese spend the most on take-aways, according to new research from Euromonitor International.

Per capita consumption of fast food was led by the US at $566 in 2005, followed by Canada, the UK and Australia with $456, $390 and $363 respectively, according the latest research from Euromonitor International. This high level of per capita consumption demonstrates the importance of fast food as a lifestyle in these countries. Surprisingly, South Korea has a higher per capita consumption than several relatively wealthy European countries, namely Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, with $239 spent on fast food in 2005.

Per capital expenditure on fast food – top 10

Burgers dominate the US fast food industry, with burger fast food taking more than half of total fast food expenditure. Per capita consumption of burger fast food was $284 in 2005, almost double that of the second country – Canada. In the UK, by contrast, the proportion of fast food expenditure accounted for by burgers was less than a quarter.

Japanese spend the most on take-aways

Euromonitor International’s research shows that Japan recorded the largest per capita expenditure on home delivery/take away in 2005 at $198. The UK is the second largest consumer of home delivery/take away food, with $141 spent per person in 2005.

While many Japanese people still want to cook at home, more and more people are being tempted to dine outside the home. Price-wise, buying dinner outside the home can sometimes be cheaper for a family than buying the ingredients at the supermarket.

One notable area of growth is obento-ya (Japanese lunchboxes), which accounted for just over 30% of total home delivery/takeaway value in 2004. Due to its popularity, more companies have been motivated to open up new outlets, which led to growth of almost 19% in unit terms between 1999-2004. Neither did sales disappoint, with a corresponding increase of just over 22%.