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Chicken and craft beer tipped as two hottest eating and drink out trends to grow this year

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24th April, 2013 – Craft ale drinkers and chicken lovers are ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest eating out fashion tastes, according to a survey of food and drink hospitality business leaders, conducted by Peach Factory on behalf of retail technology provider, Omnico.

More than half (56%) of hospitality business leaders cited ‘chicken’ as a hot trend, with over half (51%) voting for ‘craft ale’, while ‘barbecue’ (33%) and ‘hot dogs’ (25%) were also picked as ones to watch. The success of single dish establishments such as Le Relais de Venise, Primo’s Gourmet Hotdogs and Burger and Lobster has also caught the attention of industry decision makers, with a quarter of respondents picking out ‘single item menus’ as a hot trend.

Meanwhile, optimism about consumer confidence was muted, with 32% expecting falling average customer spends compared to last year, 45% saying there was ‘no change’, and 24% citing an anticipated  ‘slight increase’ in spend. The biggest area of concern for food and drinks brands is ‘food costs’, with 45% of respondents ‘concerned’ and 35% ‘very concerned’. The next biggest areas of concern are ‘consumer confidence’ and ‘fuel costs’ with 51% and 45% respectively ‘very concerned’ or ‘concerned’.

Over a quarter (26%) of food and drink business leaders say that they expect the UK economy to take more than two years to return to growth, with almost a third (32%) estimating 18-24 months. Only 10% of respondents believe that economic growth is around the corner (6-12 months).

The main factors for success for eating and drinking out businesses, according to decision makers, are experiential, rather than product based. The top challenges rated ‘very important’ include having  ‘engaged and motivated staff’ (88%), a ‘high quality customer experience’ (86%) and ‘building loyalty and recommendation’ (73%).

Commenting on the trends and economic predictions, Alex Thorne, Director of Hospitality at Omnico, said: “It’s clear that the trading conditions in the hospitality market are tough, not just in terms of consumer confidence but also the cost of doing business, with concerns over food, fuel and property costs all cited by decision makers. Consequently we’re seeing a back to basics approach, with slightly retro hot trends and a focus on customer service to trade out of recession.

“The research reinforces the extra importance of building loyalty and ensuring that the customer experience is second to none. The growth of ‘single item menu’ establishments marries well with established chains catching on to the popularity of street food and pop up sites. Half of the business decision makers we surveyed said they anticipated this form of brand extension occurring in the next 12 months. 

“Technology plays an important role by giving eating and drinking out brands a better understanding of the business and their customers to drive loyalty and find ways of improving the customer experience,” added Alex.

Top 10 top eating and drinking out hot trends

% saying it will make an impact in next year
Chicken56%
Craft ale51%
Barbecue33%
Hotdogs25%
Single item menus26%
Sustainable fish27%
Steak27%
Cheaper cuts (e.g. oxcheek)24%
Micro-distillery spirits20%
Sriracha/Asian ‘hot sauces’16%
 

Leading financial challenges for 2013

Very concernedConcernedModerately concernedNo concerned
Food costs35%45%19%1%
VAT16%14%33%37%
Rental/property costs15%33%39%13%
Fuel costs14%31%37%18%
Consumer confidence14%37%40%9%
Continued slow growth12%35%44%9%
Government cuts12%22%48%18%
Staffing costs11%37%41%11%
National employment levels8%21%41%30%
 

Which of the following ‘brand extensions’ do you anticipate growing this year?

 
Food “to go”56%
Street food/trucks44%
Express or kiosk versions of existing formats44%
Pop ups43%
Grocery/retail product offers26%
Outside catering (e.g. at festivals)15%
Other2%

The survey was carried out by Peach Factory in January 2013, and involved in-depth questionnaires with 127 business leaders in UK-based eating and drinking out businesses.

About Omnico Group
Omnico Group helps businesses worldwide offer a complete retail experience, joining up stores, e-commerce and mobile, and providing a better understanding of the customer to drive engagement and loyalty.

Bringing over 20 years’ experience and forging the combined know-how of Digipos and Clarity, Omnico Group works with brands such as Superdry, Next, YO! Sushi and Pret A Manger to offer solutions that can be deployed rapidly and help to reduce total cost of ownership.

Omnico serves the complete retail market, from high street retailers to hospitality, leisure and entertainment businesses. With a head office in Basingstoke, England, Omnico has a presence in 28 countries and a turnover of over £100 million.

For more information about Omnico, please visit the company’s website www.omnicogroup.com or follow @omnicogroup on Twitter.

For more information, please contact:
Philip Szomszor / Simon Bibby
Firefly Communications
PR for Omnico
E: omnico@fireflycomms.com
T: +44 (0)203 170 8008