Download Business Leaders' Survey Report 2018

Healthy eating, craft beer, flexible formats and delivery will be among the key trends to follow in 2018, CGA’s Business Leaders’ Survey reveals.

The survey, conducted with Barclaycard, found that more than two thirds (69%) of leaders think vegan food will be a key theme in 2018—a huge increase on the quarter (25%) of sector bosses who identified it in last year’s Business Leaders’ Survey. Around half of leaders also think free-from options (54%) and reducing food waste (50%) will be big trends.

The findings confirm the increasing importance of health and sustainability to consumers who eat out of home—although the market for more indulgent eating remains substantial. The government’s sugar tax on soft drinks may start to generate a similar awareness of health in drinking too, with more than two thirds (43%) of leaders tipping low-sugar drinks to be a key trend in 2018.

Elsewhere in drinks, craft beer is considered a likely trend by nearly half (46%)—making it the top category for the fifth Business Leaders’ Survey in a row. Non- or low-alcoholic drinks (43%), micro-distillery spirits (37%) and premium mixers (31%) are among the other expected trends.

Asked about formats, nearly half (48%) of leaders tip all-day or flexible operations as likely to thrive in 2018. Almost as many (43%) feel the same about third-party delivery services, which have provided both opportunities and challenges to casual dining brands in the last couple of years.

The Business Leaders’ Survey has a host more insights into likely trends, opportunities, challenges and priorities in the eating and drinking out sectors in 2018.

CGA’s Business Leaders’ Survey was produced in partnership with Barclaycard and collected responses from 195 individuals working at CEO, MD, Chairman, Director or other senior management levels. Click here to download the full Survey report. For details of how CGA’s research can help every business in the eating and drinking out sector, contact


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