Consumers looking for healthy and different food offerings are driving growth in the Mexican and Japanese food styles, as well as wraps, bagels and frozen yoghurt.
That's one of the key indications from foodservice analyst Horizons, in its recently-launched Ones to Watch service.
The index charts the progress of small chains of between five and 25 units which have shown at least 20% growth over the past three years combined.
"Following the progress of these fledgling brands gives us a snapshot of the way eating out is changing in the UK and highlights the high street brands of the future," said Horizons' director of services Paul Backman.
Gondola-owned gourmet burger brand Byron added the most outlets to its portfolio since 2008 and now has 19.
Meanwhile, the rapid growth of Tortilla, Chimichanga, Barburrito and Chilango appeared to show that Mexican cuisine is finding a mass audience in the UK.
And the growth of Japanese chains demonstrated consumers' growing trend for eating healthily, particularly at lunchtime.
"We are seeing a growth in on-the-go concepts that offer consumers an alternative to a lunchtime sandwich, particularly those selling freshly prepared, quality food with an emphasis on healthy eating. Japanese sushi takeaways are a good example as are the growth of outlets specialising in wraps - such as Wrapid, which now has 16 outlets, and Wrap it Up, which has six," said Backman
"Bagel stores are another growth area, with Bagel Nash now having 11 units in the North of England and Ixxy's Bagels having five," he said.
Frozen yoghurt has staged a comeback, with self-serve specialist Yoomoo operating 10 stores in the UK, up from four in 2008.
Ones to Watch is available on subscription through Horizons. Call Paul Backman on 07811 401356 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
TOP 20 FASTEST GROWING OUTLETS 2008-2011
1. Byron – 19 outlets/467% growth
2. Banana Tree – 5 outlets/400%
3. Chilango – 4 outlets/400%
4. Wildwood – 9 outlets/350%
5. Wrapid – 16 outlets/300%
6. Jamie's Italian – 23 outlets/229%
7. Abokado – 9 outlets/200%
8. YooMoo – 10 outlets/175%
9. Busaba Eathai – 8 outlets/167%
10. Bill's – 5 outlets/150%
By Neil Gerrard
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