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Healthier eating and drinking will become an even bigger consumer trend in 2019, leaders from restaurants, pubs and bars think.

CGA’s 2019 Business Leaders’ Survey reveals that health trends that would once have been considered niche are now firmly part of mainstream eating and drinking. This applies in particular to nutritional choices like vegan food, which two in three leaders (67%) think will be a key trend in 2019—an enormous increase on CGA’s 2017 Business Leaders’ Survey, when just a quarter (25%) tipped it.

But the impact of health concerns goes well beyond veganism. Well over a third of business leaders think dietary choices like ‘free-from’ (46%), ‘flexitarianism’ (46%) and ‘clean eating’ (37%) will be major trends in 2019.

And drinks are following the move towards healthy choices. More than two in five leaders pick low- or no-sugar drinks (44%) and low- or no-alcohol drinks (41%) as key trends to follow in 2019. Both numbers are more than those choosing craft beer as a top trend (31%)—and it is the first time in five years of the Survey that craft hasn’t topped the list.

The government’s ‘sugar tax’ and changes to the recommended levels of alcohol consumption are both likely to have accelerated the trend towards healthier drinks.

The signs of a major shift in dietary preferences are backed up by CGA’s BrandTrack data, which shows that the proportion of consumers citing healthy options as an influencing factor in where to eat out rose from 22% in October 2015 to 27% in October 2018.

CGA chief executive Phil Tate said: “These figures show the massive impact that messages about healthier lifestyles are having on restaurants, pubs and bars. More and more consumers are seeking to cut their consumption of things like meat, sugar and alcohol, and operators are scrambling to adapt to fast-changing preferences. It’s not a complete revolution yet, and CGA data shows there is still a big market for indulgent eating and affordable treats. But the remarkable shift towards healthy choices is a timely reminder that is absolutely crucial to stay right on top of key consumer trends and avoid being left behind.”

CGA’s Business Leaders’ Survey is produced in association with industry training specialists CPL Online and is based on responses from 175 individuals working at CEO, MD, Chairman, Director or other senior management level. Click here for more information about the Survey and how it can support businesses’ decision making in 2019.

     

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