REVEALED: The five industry operators with most market momentum

Costa, JD Wetherspoon, Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery, Miller & Carter and Greggs are among the businesses with the most momentum in the out-of-home eating and drinking sectors at the moment, a new report has claimed.  

The study, compiled using CGA data and insight from hospitality and retail consultancy Stone & River, ranks operators in five key parts of the industry to provide an authoritative analysis of which brands are rising and falling in the eyes of British consumers.

The report concludes that Costa is the company with the most momentum in the coffee and food-to-go sector, followed by Patisserie Valerie. With more than 2,300 coffee shops and 7,000 Costa Express self-service units, Costa is now one of the most visible consumer brands around.

In the high street drinks-led sector, JD Wetherspoon emerges as the leading operator, followed by All Bar One. CGA’s data shows it has a very wide appeal across demographics, and has sustained momentum through the convenience and value of its offer.

Mitchells & Butlers’ Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery tops the report’s list of leading pub restaurant names, ahead of Greene King’s Farmhouse Inns. Stonehouse has rolled out rapidly since launching, and has successfully tapped into two of the most popular areas of eating out in pizzas and carveries.

M&B scores a second top spot in the restaurants category, with its steakhouse brand Miller & Carter leading narrowly from fast-growing brasserie concept Cote. Miller & Carter has replaced other M&B concepts in many locations lately, and has built loyalty among older diners in particular.

In the QSR category, Greggs continues its dominance by leading the list ahead of McDonald’s, thanks in part to efforts to evolve its formula with more healthy options and sit-in service lately.

The report concludes that a straightforward offer, convenience and value are vital elements of success, and emphasises the importance of constant evolution and flexibility in business propositions.

Karl Chessell, business unit director for retail and food at CGA, said the findings show the simplicity of some of the elements of successful branding—but also how challenging it can be to achieve them on the frontline.

“Staying on top of consumer habits and opinions is going to be crucial if brands are to generate momentum in this ultra-competitive market,” he commented.

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