Brand Momentum Report reveals convenience, service and differentiation drive momentum amongst best-loved eating out brands.

Here is 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.
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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 underinvestment and inconsistent location strategy as among the reasons as to why operators start to lose momentum.

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.”

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.”

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 offers also ensure 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.

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.

About CGA
CGA is the data and research consultancy of choice for the out-of-home food and drinks market, specialising in market measurement, consumer research and location planning.

What sets CGA apart is its unique ability to access the three key types of data (supply, demand and consumer) and then triangulate this data to provide the most complete and accurate picture of anyone in the out-of-home sector.

From its offices in Manchester, United Kingdom, and Chicago, United States, CGA experts work with many of the world’s biggest consumer brands, including drinks manufacturers, consumer brand owners, food suppliers and wholesalers as well as pub, bar and restaurant retailers and government entities.

Founded in 1992, CGA’s mission is to use its phenomenal data and expert insight into the leisure industry to give these brands the competitive edge and get them where they want to be, faster.

To learn more, visit:

About Stone & River
Stone & River helps consumer-facing businesses remarkable, through: business strategy and customer proposition; operational efficiency; and organisational development.

We are a team of strategic thinkers, business builders and agitators, and we have been improving customer and colleague experience in retail and leisure for over 15 years. We ensure we look beyond the surface issues to show businesses the whole picture, and our approach results in actionable, sustainable change.

To learn more, visit:

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