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Our annual report with CGA reveals momentum brands in out of home food and drink

Exclusive analysis from CGA and Stone & River uncovers consumers’ view of favourite British eating and drinking out brands.

Greggs and McDonald’s are sustaining their momentum in the on the go and quick service sectors, JD Wetherspoon leads the way in high street bars, while Mitchells & Butlers brands Stonehouse and Miller & Carter lead the pack in pubs and restaurants, respectively.

Those are among the top findings in the 2019 Brand Momentum Report from CGA and Stone & River—an exclusive analysis of consumers’ views of dozens of big brands across the out of home eating and drinking market.

The report identifies convenience, service and differentiation as major drivers of brand momentum, and points to under-investment and inconsistent location strategy as among the reasons as to why operators start to lose momentum.

Molly Johnson-Jones, head of strategy at Stone & River said: “Our report shows a clear correlation between those brands that have invested in the customer experience, their proposition and their staff, and those performing more strongly in the report. With so many headwinds to contend with, investing in areas such as menus, staff and environment presents a real opportunity to achieve genuine differentiation with customers.”

Karl Chessell, business unit director for retail and food at CGA said: “Building momentum is so important for brands in the ultra-competitive world of eating and drinking out – but it can be very elusive to achieve. Our report reveals many of its secrets – learning from this is essential for brands looking to build momentum of their own in 2019 and beyond.”

Miller & Carter leads in the restaurant category, driven by its higher quality and simplified proposition. In a category hit by CVA’s and site closures in the past 12 months, it is those expanding with a readily understood proposition, such as Cote, Five Guys and ASK Italian that are standing out from the crowd. Nando’s rises into second place due to its continued expansion and effective marketing campaign, while Cote, Five Guys and Bella Italia complete the line-up.

For the second year, McDonald’s tops the quick service restaurants (QSR) category, having continued to drive investment in its restaurants and digital innovation, closely followed by Leon, highlighting the growing popularity of healthy and fresh options for consumers.

Innovation and improved coffee offer also ensures Greggs achieves best momentum in the food on the go category, while Pret drops out of the top five due to negative publicity and a perceived lack of investment in its proposition.

Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery tops the pub restaurant category for the second year running, while JD Wetherspoon ranks highest among high street bar brands, with consumers appreciating its wide demographic appeal, cheap drinks and product consistency. All Bar One, which has successfully tapped into the premiumisation trend, Revolution, Pitcher & Piano and Slug and Lettuce complete the top five.

If you would like to discuss the report in more depth, please contact [email protected]

About the Report
The CGA | Stone & River Brand Momentum Report is based on figures from CGA BrandTrack, the market-leading survey of the eating and drinking out attitudes and habits of 5,000 nationally representative British consumers every quarter; and CGA Outlet Index, the UK’s most accurate and up to date database of licensed premises.

The Report’s ranking of operators is achieved by three key metrics: a measure of how awareness of a brand has changed over the last three years; an index of consumers who would consider using a business in the future versus lapsed users; and the difference between the number of consumers with positive and negative opinions of an operator. Figures are enhanced by data about customer loyalty and new openings in some sectors. Totals are weighted to produce an overall brand momentum rating.

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