Fast Food & Snacks Industry Guide

fast food images

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the fast food and snacks industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.


Start-Up Information


COBRA logo

The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.


Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP)

Cake Shop BOP563
Café BOP516
Chocolatier BOP279
Coffee Shop BOP391
Craft Bakery BOP064
Delicatessen BOP271
Fast Food Takeaway BOP165
Fish & Chip Shop BOP542
Homemade Cake & Biscuit Maker BOP141
Ice Cream Van BOP129
Mobile Coffee Cart BOP552
Mobile Takeaway BOP086
Restaurant BOP021
Sandwich Delivery Round BOP295
Sandwich Shop BOP140
Speciality Cake Maker BOP346
Sweet Shop BOP462
Tea Room BOP087


Sector Update

Food and Grocery Retail SEC008
Food and Grocery Retail SRG011
Restaurants and Foodservice SEC072
Restaurants and Foodservice SRG003
Retail Food and Drink SYN001
Wholesale Food and Drink SEC042
Wholesale Food and Drink SEC079
Wholesale Food and Drink SEC090


Business Information Factsheets (BIF)

Food Safety Inspections – A Guide To BIF503
Food Safety Legislation – An Introduction To BIF435
Food Information & Labelling Requirements – A Guide To BIF182
Registration of Food Business Premises BIF486
Food Safety Act 1990 – A Guide To The BIF070
Food Hygiene Regulations In The UK – A Guide To BIF193
Food Safety Management System – An Introduction To BIF502


Related Legal Regulations

Food Safety Act 1990 LEG004
Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations LEG567


Market Research & Statistics

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.


IBISWorld logo

  • Biscuit Production
  • Cafes & Coffee Shops
  • Coffee Processing
  • Coffee, Tea and Spices Wholesale
  • Chocolate & Confectionery Production
  • Confectionery Wholesaling
  • Fast Food Franchises in the UK
  • Full-Service Restaurants
  • Ice Cream Production
  • Juice & Smoothie Bars
  • Pizza Delivery & Takeaway
  • Potato Crisps & Snacks Production
  • Prepared Meal Manufacturing
  • Soft Drink Production
  • Takeaway & Fast-Food Restaurants
  • Tea Processing


Mintel logo

  • Attitudes Towards Casual Dining
  • Attitudes Towards Cooking In The Home
  • Attitudes Towards Healthy Eating
  • Attitudes Towards Home-Delivery and Takeaway
  • Attitudes to Low/No/Reduced Sugar Soft Drinks
  • Attitudes Towards Lunch Out-of-Home
  • Attitudes Towards Premium Soft Drinks
  • Attitudes Towards Pub Catering
  • Attitudes Towards Sugar and Sweeteners
  • Burger and Chicken Restaurants
  • Cake, Cake Bars and Sweet Baked Goods
  • Carbonated Soft Drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Coffee Shops
  • Consumer Snacking
  • Crisps, Savoury Snacks and Nuts
  • Eating Out Review
  • Eating Out: The Decision Making Process
  • Ethnic Restaurants And Takeaways
  • Global Food and Drink Trends
  • Ice Cream 
  • Kid’s Snacking
  • Pizza and Italian Restaurants
  • Pizzas
  • Ready Meals and Ready-to-Cook Foods
  • Savoury Biscuits
  • Sweet Biscuits and Snack Bars
  • Sugar and Gum Confectionery
  • The Future of Eating Out
  • The Future of Quick Service Restaurants
  • World Cuisines


Passport logo

  • Cafés/Bars in the United Kingdom 
  • Chocolate Confectionery in the United Kingdom
  • Coffee in the United Kingdom
  • Consumer Foodservice in the United Kingdom
  • Consumer Foodservice By Location in the United Kingdom
  • Fast Food in Western Europe
  • Fast Food in Asia Pacific
  • Fast Food In Eastern Europe
  • Fast Food in Latin America
  • Fish and Seafood in the United Kingdom
  • Full-Service Restaurants in the United Kingdom
  • Gum in the United Kingdom
  • Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the United Kingdom
  • Limited Service Restaurants in the United Kingdom
  • Nuts in the United Kingdom
  • Packaged food in the United Kingdom
  • Ready Meals in the United Kingdom
  • RTD Coffee in the United Kingdom
  • RTD Tea in the United Kingdom
  • Self Service Cafeterias in the United Kingdom
  • Street Stalls/Kiosks in the United Kingdom
  • Sugar Confectionery in the United Kingdom
  • Sugar and Sweeteners in the United Kingdom
  • Savoury Snacks In the United Kingdom
  • Sweet Biscuits, Snack Bars and Fruit Snacks in the United Kingdom
  • Tea in the United Kingdom


EMIS logo

  • Europe – Confectionery
  • Europe – Savory Snacks
  • Europe Snack Bar Market – Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2018 – 2023
  • Global Coffee Market – Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2019 – 2024)
  • Global Coffee Pods and Capsules Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 – 2024)
  • Global Confectionery
  • Global Confectionery Market 2021 – 2027
  • Global Fast Food Market 2020 – 2027
  • Global Frozen Pizza Market, 2017-2023
  • Global Fruit Snack Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 – 2024)
  • Global Organic Snacks Market, 2018-2025
  • Global – Savory Snacks
  • Global Snack Bar Market – Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2019 – 2024
  • Global Sweet Biscuit Market – Growth, Trends, And Forecast (2019 – 2024)
  • Healthy Snacks Market Analysis and Segment Forecasts To 2025
  • Savory Snacks Market – Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2019 – 2024
  • United Kingdom – Confectionery
  • United Kingdom – Savory Snacks


Local Data Online

Provides a birds-eye view of the makeup and complexity of the retail and leisure offering in a chosen location.

Review key trends over time:

  • Vacancy rates
  • Occupancy trends
  • Retail mix

Understand demand profiles through demographic data such as:

  • Employment statistics
  • Average weekly earnings
  • Crime rates
  • Unemployment
  • House prices

Also, contact details and individual reports of companies in the digital communications industry are available from our electronic sources: Market IQ.


Trade Magazines & Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists.

The Caterer (formerly known as Caterer & hotelkeeper) (Reed Business Information)
Trade publication aimed at restaurant managers, chefs, hotel owners and others in the hospitality industry. Covers catering equipment, company news, trends in foods and drink, foodservice, suppliers, profiles, job adverts, restaurants and hotels for sale.

Chippy Chat & Fast Food Magazine (formerly known as Fryer & Fast Food) (ChippyChat)
The Fish & Chip and fast food magazine for the UK. Covers news and events within the industry with recipes, trends and developments. All magazines freely available from the website.

Fish Friers Review (NFFF)
Journal of the National Federation of Fish Friers. Covers the fish and chip shop trade, including fish restaurants, frying & catering equipment, potatoes etc. Carries adverts for businesses for sale with news and comment, with a regular feature on legislative matters. You can find reviews here.


Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.


The Grocer: Directory of Manufacturers & Suppliers 2020 (William Reed Business Media Ltd) [(B) DIR 380.1456402541 BUS]
Directory of food and drink manufacturers and suppliers; also has a list of food & drink products and a brand index.


Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

The Beverage Standards Association

Trade association for suppliers and retailers in the beverage industry, including coffee shops. It provides news, information and a directory relevant to coffee shop owners.

Big Hospitality (Formerly Restaurant Magazine)

This is a trade publication aimed at owners and managers of restaurants that features trade news, updates and reviews.

The British Sandwich and Food To Go Association 

Represents businesses in the sandwich industry, providing news, events and a supplier directory.

Café Life Association 

Membership-based organisation for businesses that operate in the café market. Provides a few basic fact sheets but gives a suppliers directory.

The European Snacks Association

Concerned with the development and improvement of potato chips, edible nuts and snack food products in Europe.

The Food and Drink Federation

A membership association for the food and drink industry, including chocolatiers. It provides industry updates, information and guidance for its members. Many free reports etc. are available also.

The Food Standards Agency 

An independent Government department that provides businesses with news, reports, guidance and information in relation to food safety.

The Ice Cream Alliance (ICA)

The trade association for the ice cream sector. It provides advice on obtaining equipment, ice cream brands, new technology and developments in the sector. Includes a directory of suppliers.

The International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO)

Gives an analysis of the world cocoa market. Reviews recent developments in the market with long term trends and forecasts.

Just Food

A website providing access to reports, news and event information from all sectors of the food industry. Includes an international directory of products and suppliers.

National Federation of Fish Fryers (NFFF)

Represents fish and chip shop proprietors and offers trade training courses specially designed for new entrants to the trade. Includes an associate members directory, suppliers etc.

The Nationwide Caterers’ Association (NCASS)

A trade association for both static and mobile caterers. With news and fact sheets on various topics including starting up (takeaway, sandwich van, fish and chip shop etc.), insurance, training, VAT etc. With catering contacts.

Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association

The trade association for pizza, pasta and Italian food businesses. Offers a range of member benefits including a regular magazine and free access to a legal helpline. Features a free online directory of suppliers of relevant products and services within the industry.


The UK’s seafood body. It works on a cross-industry level with fishermen, processors, wholesalers, seafood farmers, fish friers, caterers and retailers. Gives latest news, policy reforms, nutrition information, recipes etc.

UK Hospitality 

Represents the broad hospitality sector – covering everything from bars, coffee shops, contract catering, hotels, nightclubs, visitor attractions and other leisure venues.

UK Tea & Infusions Association

An independent non-profit making body dedicated to promoting tea and herbal infusions; providing services and support of a technical, scientific and regulatory nature to the tea industry. Works closely with several large national and international food bodies to ensure that the quality of tea imported into the European Union meets the highest possible standards as regulated by law. Includes a directory of tea related businesses and venues.


Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk.

Images by The Style PA, Sweetbeetandgreenbean, dblstripe under a Creative Commons license

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