The inclusion of nutritional information on food menus influences four in 10 consumers’ out-of-home meal choice, according to the third edition of CGA and UKHospitality’s Future Shock report.

Young diners, the more educated and affluent consumers were more likely to be influenced than others, with fat, salt and sugar more important considerations than calories, found the research.

Echoing trends seen with out-of-home drinking behaviour, the report said that it was notable that the consumers who ate out more often were also the more health-conscious, with CGA’s Brand Track consumer research finding that almost six out of 10 adults agree that they “proactively try to lead a healthy lifestyle”.

More than one in three of those who ate out at least three times a week said they always took healthy options into account, with more than 50% stating nutritional information was an influencing factor on what they chose to eat in restaurants. By comparison, 13% of those who ate out less than once a month said they took healthy options into account, and only 30% were influenced by nutritional labelling.

Despite tough market conditions, the number of food outlets in Great Britain has increased by 14.9% between 2012 and 2017, from 39,625 to 45,521, with 45.5% of pub and bar sales now derived from food. London saw a 16.3% increase in the number of outlets, from 10,386 to 12,019, stated the report.

However drink-led outlet numbers in GB fell 10.4% over the past five years, from 73,215 to 65,593. In London the decline was slightly less at -9.2% to 10,037.

Jamie Campbell, business unit director at CGA, said: “This is a time of huge change in out-of-home eating and drinking, and our latest edition of Future Shock spotlights three of the most pressing issues: technology, health and Brexit. Understanding these and the many other trends uncovered by CGA’s research is going to be crucial for all operators in the months and years ahead.”

In addition to health, technology and the impact of Brexit on recruitment were highlighted as major trends affecting the market. CGA research from July last year found that using mobile phones for paying after ordering was becoming slightly more widespread, than using them for pre-payment or pre-ordering – actions that are more likely when ordering food, than drink, but these behaviours were skewed towards younger age groups.