Opportunities for canny operators

Report highlights key issues and chances to grow business

Different selections: two thirds of customers are trying to be healthier

WHILE growing costs, increasing competition and Brexit present a trident of challenges to the UK on-trade, the trends towards healthier eating and premium drinks offer operators opportunities to grow their businesses in 2019.

Those were among the key findings in the latest Future Shock market report, produced by UK Hospitality in partnership with research company CGA to highlight the main consumer trends for operators to take advantage of in the coming year.

The fourth edition of the study flagged that consumers are becoming more interested in healthy food choices, with research showing that nearly two thirds of consumers who eat and drink out of the home are trying to lead healthier lifestyles.

The shift towards premiumisation is also predicted to continue in the on-trade; CGA estimated that the premium drinks category will grow by £3 billion a year in the UK.

Elsewhere in the report, total like-for-like sales growth across the UK hospitality sector was found to be just 0.6% in the year to August 2018, while “relatively high levels” of food inflation were said to have hit the sector in recent years.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: “Businesses are still facing a considerable amount of instability both economically and politically as Brexit approaches.

“It is at times like these that concise, clear and authoritative advice and insights become more valuable than ever.”