From a boutique research agency to an international data & insight consultancy, CGA has become the beating heart of the vibrant eating & drinking out market.
CGA by NIQ is the trusted On Premise measurement, insight & research consultancy to food & drink businesses across the globe, empowering growth & shaping On Premise strategies for success.
Through our endless drive to obtain more & more data, our dedication to turning unstructured data into something meaningful, & our passion for delivering unique insights & outstanding client servicing, CGA is dedicated to creating an On Premise & hospitality sector that delivers memory-making experiences for consumers & high value returns for clients, all over the world.
CGA began life in 1990 at a time of huge change in pubs. The government was breaking what it saw as local monopolies of big brewing companies, leading to the divestment of thousands of pubs around the country. Our founders Martin Curren & Peter Goodden saw the urgent need to track pubs’ changing ownership, & CGA (standing for "Curren Goodden Associates") was born officially in 1991.
A PUB REVOLUTION
In a time of scarce internet resources, researching the pub market meant rolling up our sleeves & hitting the road. Our team travelled the length & breadth of the country to visit pubs & trawl handwritten council ledgers & brewers’ estate lists. The result was our Outlet Index: a definitive database of who owned what in the pubs business—& it revolutionized the pub trade’s knowledge.
OUR RESEARCH BEGINS
Before long, the trade urged CGA to expand the Index. We added more licensed premises like restaurants, hotels & nightclubs, & brought in the analysis of drink ranges, prices & much more. The resource grew layer by layer throughout the 1990s, & it remains essential to the licensed trade today.
THE DATA GROWS
In 2004 CGA teamed up with research business consultancy Centro to further deepen the knowledge of pub companies & identify new places for them to open. Under the leadership of Jon Collins, it brought together CGA’s definitive map of pub ownership with Centro’s rich data on market dynamics. The result was a one-stop-shop for insights into the On Premise.
The rich resources meant CGA-Centro could start to offer bespoke research, tailored for the needs of drinks manufacturers & suppliers as well as pub operators. The business evolved into CGA Strategy, a name that indicated how we offer not just numbers but the insights & advice that bring them alive. Just like today, the stats were just the start of the partnership.
CGA’s network of experts grew rapidly throughout the 2000s. We moved from Worcester to the famous Strawberry Studios in Stockport. In came a host of expert researchers: people with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the licensed trade, the analytical understanding of the On Premise market to unlock our data’s value & the opinions to make them critical & constructive partners of licensed retailers and suppliers.
OUR TEAM GROWS
Expanding in the face of the economic crisis under Jon Collins & our now group chief executive Phil Tate, CGA honed its field research & introduced new services like our four-weekly On-Premise Measurement & Analytics. With the support of Nielsen, we moved further afield into France & the US, meeting those markets’ needs for detailed & trustworthy research.
NEW SERVICES, NEW MARKETS, & EXPANSION
CGA evolved again in 2013 with the acquisition of Peach Factory, a research & events business focused on the casual dining market owned by Peter & Christine Martin. It brought us into even closer contact with the eating-out sector, seamlessly adding vital restaurant & consumer research to our expertise in pubs, bars & clubs. In 2016, CGA Strategy & CGA Peach were refreshed & rebranded to "CGA", accompanied by a fresh, modern look & logo to reflect who we were at this point in time.
In 2017, CGA acquired Festival Insights, the knowledge hub for the UK festival industry that delivers the prestigious UK Festival Awards & the influential Festival 250 global report. The deal has extended our coverage of out-of-home eating & drinking, reflecting the rising importance to consumers of live events, pop-ups & street food.
CGA grew further in 2018 with the acquisition of CPL Online, the specialist in e-learning & business solutions for the hospitality sector. A year later, we welcomed CPL Training to the fold - the leading provider of licensed retail & hospitality training in the UK. CPL (now an Access company) market-leading hospitality training gave us the most comprehensive & authoritative suite of services in our history—all of them helping our clients to become even better businesses across the On Premise.
In June of 2022, CGA joined NIQ, a consumer intelligence company that has operations in 90+ markets & covers more than 90% of the world’s population. Coming together with NIQ allows us to continue to deliver an innovative, granular alcoholic beverage measurement & insights solution with the single aim of helping clients achieve growth by closing blind spots. Today, CGA and NIQ are able to deliver the Full View of consumer buying behaviour in both the On & Off Premise situations, revealing new pathways to growth for our clients.
CGA by NIQ
We sit now in a unique position between producers, wholesalers, suppliers & retailers—a vantage point from which we enjoy a 360-degree view of eating & drinking out. But we stay close to the ground too, sharing our clients’ passion for their sector. Our purpose remains true to our founding aims: to distil the research we gather into essential facts & expert strategic advice. CGA by NIQ serve a thriving, dynamic industry, and we are proud to be at the heart of it!
To learn more about how CGA can help your business (in any market), please get in touch.