Pub food report 2012
Do you remember when the on trade was just about pubs, blokes and beer? Those simpler times have been left far behind as the push of operational innovation and the pull of consumer demand (underpinned by shifting regulation) have shaped a new out of home market.This evolution was initially contained to the wet side of things as Beer, Spirits, Soft Drinks and Wine created an ever more varied sales mix. A quick look at the proliferation of fonts, the crowded back bar and fridge is all the proof needed of this phenomenon. Things started to change on the dry side as the sorry looking sandwich with its curled up edges and ‘emergency pie’ in the nightclub freezer gave way to, at first, a token food offer before a move to something altogether more serious and desirable. Pubs, sometimes the wrong pubs, embraced food as the key to survival in a fast changing social and regulatory landscape. While that was occasionally a mistake – food is not a universal solution – the broad logic was sound. Today we have a compelling, competitive and complete food pub market. As on trade usage moves from habit to treat, our pubs and bars anticipate and react to these changing needs. And it’s in this context that we present our Pub Food Report: the precursor to the launch of a new suite of food insight services from CGA. As the on trade changes, so too the service portfolio of its leading research consultancy evolves. This report showcases the insights we have the capacity to uncover when we refocus our renowned industry expertise on the detailed food data we have been amassing: five years of retailer sales data from the major players in the managed pub market; eight years of menu listings collected biannually from a representative sample of over 1,000 outlets; all coded with painstaking attention to detail to provide the most granular perspective on pub food sales that has ever been available; and cross referenced with drinks sales intelligence to deliver a holistic view of the total ‘with food’ opportunity. Why is this level of insight important? Because all the signs suggest that food occasions are only going to grow in importance, and it’s in everyone’s interest – retailers, food and drinks category stakeholders – to understand the nature of the opportunity in detail in order to optimise growth. This report shows the value of a holistic view. Roast dinners are not the most ubiquitous nor the most expensive menu item – but rates of sale means that they dwarf all but a handful of other meals in terms of their total value. Coffee is a hot topic, but rates of sale in managed food pubs are still only a third of those expected from independent coffee shops. And even in dedicated food-led pubs, evidence of a weekender mentality is apparent in the daily sales mix – suggesting the drinks category opportunity in food pub outlets is more complex than many assume, and extends well beyond Soft Drinks and Wine. The contents of this report highlight the value and characteristics of the modern pub food market. But they’re only a starting point. Our strategy in food will mirror our approach in drinks: we will work with you to help you achieve more.
Table of contents
STATE OF THE NATION
Food is increasing in importance in the on trade. But which outlets are driving its growth? And what trends are evident? This section explores the current shape of the market and distils some key facts.
BIG HITTERS & RISING STARS
An overview of the main players in pub food, plus profiles of a select group of smaller innovators currently making waves.
PUBS VS. RESTAURANTS
They’re competing head on for your custom, but each represents a different proposition. We explore the critical differentiators of pubs versus restaurants.
HISTORY OF FOOD
From something to increase thirst to gourmet gastro: food has exploded from the sidelines into a main event. As pubs have had to diversify their offer in a bid to survive, we take a look back through the years to a time where the customer was lucky to be offered a pickled egg with their pint.
KEY SECTOR DYNAMICS
What is the market worth and when is it particularly profitable? CGA analysis provides a robust picture of the dynamic on trade food market including an overview of last years’ trade as well as daily trends and seasonal spikes.
BRITAIN’S FAVOURITE PUB MEALS
CGA analysis reveals that we’re a nation of roast dinner lovers. This section takes a look at roasts in more detail before turning to the other meals in our top five.
AN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIR
With 77 per cent of food sales in managed pubs last year driven through British dishes, pub food is a traditional business. But which other cuisines are growing share?
Food sales go hand in hand with coffee sales, but are all licensees capitalising on the hot drink opportunity? Our analysis reveals some key trends.
A QUESTION OF GEOGRAPHY
The report considers the effect of location on food pub market shape and performance, and finds clear evidence of a North/South and urban/rural divide.
In today’s market there’s an outlet to suit every taste and every purse. We contemplate the effect and implications of food outlet quality for drinks category sales.
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