A study published this week by McKinsey & Company found that online dining is already driving a $1.9 trillion expansion of dining out, with more than a billion online customers per year.
The study, which analyzed data from 2015 and 2016, finds that a major challenge for the U and U.K. is that their food services industries are both growing fast and evolving.
The report points to online dining as a potential way to address the growth in online dining, with the potential to increase food services output by at least 1.2% per year, which would translate into a $2.2 trillion increase in GDP in 2020.
The authors say online dining has the potential of significantly increasing consumption of imported ingredients and reducing food waste, and they suggest the new generation of dining-out restaurants will have a much greater impact on food production and consumption than they currently do.
For the U., the study found that the average cost per guest per meal at these restaurants increased $1,828 from 2014 to 2016, from $1 for a dinner in the U to $3.39 for a meal in the UK.
In comparison, a meal at a typical restaurant in the United States cost about $3,400 per guest.
The McKinsey report also found that, while the U is likely to remain the world leader in online consumption, the U.-UK share of online food spending is expected to increase from 0.7% in 2020 to 3.2%.
This is partly due to the fact that food consumption in the two countries is closely aligned and the food companies have a similar reach into the UK, and that the two economies are likely to continue to be two of the largest food exporters in the future, according to McKinsey.
But McKinsey also notes that this new generation is likely already facing challenges that will limit its ability to drive an expansion of online services.
It noted that while it is possible that the U-UK will grow in 2020, the current trajectory suggests it will lag behind in the next three years.
This means the U will need to keep up with the pace of growth of online businesses and, in particular, the growth of food and beverage services companies.
The U. of K., meanwhile, will continue to grow faster than the UK in terms of food services spending.
However, the authors say the U has an opportunity to grow much faster than in 2020 because the food and beverages industry is growing much more quickly than the U economy.
This article originally appeared on Bloomberg.