Bars & wine bars have seen the biggest growth of any food and beverage sub-sector in retail centres, Cushman & Wakefield’s UK Food & Beverage Market report has found.

The segment saw an increase of 167 sites in 2015, 201 in 2016, and 359 in 2017 across UK retail and leisure schemes, a net growth of 14%.

However, the data shows a fall in the number of pubs, down 115 in 2015, 95 in 2016 and 109 in 2017, a net decrease of 3%.

The second biggest growth sub-sector was cafes, which added 300 in 2015, 556 in 2016 , and 671 in 2017, a net increase of 10%.

The report finds shopping centres in large UK cities saw an average of 17 additional F&B units during 2014-2017, while retail units decreased by 20 during the same period, reflecting the “increasing importance of F&B to retail and leisure destinations”.

The largest percentage increase in F&B units was in regional malls, with an average growth of 24% or three units, albeit from a smaller baseline of sites.

On opportunities in retail destinations, the report concluded: “It is important for landlords and operators to fully understand the existing supply, catchment and spend characteristics of locations in order to make informed and strategic decisions.

“By analysing retail centre shopping population and available catering spend versus supply, it is possible to identify those centres offering capacity.

“It is then a question of developing strategies to capture this spend, with relevant operators matched to demographics and shopping purpose.”