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Fri 1st Mar 2013 - Breaking News - Coffee shops and healthy food outlets top Ones to Watch
Coffee shops and healthy food outlets top Ones to Watch: Coffee shops, healthy quick service outlets, artisan bakeries and Mexican burrito outlets are showing the most growth of the UK’s small and emerging high street eating out chains, showing that while consumers may have cut back on their dining out, they are still keen to treat themselves inexpensively to something of good quality, served quickly and efficiently. Foodservice consultancy Horizons in its latest Ones to Watch survey demonstrates that the nation’s love of coffee shows no signs of abating. Emerging coffee brands in the survey have shown a 132% growth rate over the past 12 months in terms of outlet numbers. Chains such as Harris + Hoole’s, which has gone from one to ten outlets, typify this growth market as does Gregg’s Moment (with five outlets) and Lavazza Expression, which currently has three outlets with plans for over 50 sites in greater London over the next three years. SOHO Coffee has grown from 16 outlets in 2012 to 20 in 2013, while Taylor Street Baristas (nine outlets) is also on Horizons’ latest Ones to Watch list. “In many ways coffee shops have benefitted from the economic downturn,” commented report author Nicola Knight, Horizons’ director of services. “Buying a coffee and a snack is a way of treating yourself relatively cheaply and as consumers have become more discerning about their coffee the artisan and specialist outlets offer something over and above that of the well-known chains.” Ones to Watch identifies and tracks the growth of up and coming brands on the UK’s high streets, charting their rate of growth in terms of outlet numbers. The service identifies those brands likely to become high street names of the future, but which currently have between five and 25 outlets and have shown at least a 20% growth over the past three years combined. Healthy quick service (with sit-down or takeaway options and where you pay when you order) is another growth area with brands like sandwich bar operator Abokado, which now has 13 outlets making it one of the fastest growing Ones to Watch brands. Owned by Kings Park Capital, Abokado aims to have 24 outlets by the end of 2013. Typifying the relatively new genre of healthy takeaway outlet is Planet Organic (now with five outlets) and Pod (23). Both appeal to health-conscious consumers looking for a nutritious and healthy on-the-go meal and an alternative to existing quick service chains. Pod, which opened the most new sites of all Horizons’ Ones to Watch brands this year, claims the healthy fast food market is starting to heat up as sandwich and coffee chains catch on to an increased awareness of healthy food. The London-based chain increased its estate with the purchase of Café Mana in 2012 and has plans to reach 30 outlets this year, including three in London. While the majority of healthy quick service Ones to Watch brands are in London, they are likely to move outside the capital if their success continues. Tossed, which has gone from eight to ten outlets over the past 12 months has started that move by opening at Bluewater shopping mall in Kent.

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