, UK

Key takeaways from the IGD Food-to-Go Conference

IGD estimate the out of home market will be worth £17.4b in 2017, growing to £23.5b in 2022.

More than 200 participants attended the IGD Food-to-Go conference in London on November 7, where IGD's research team spoke, and participants heard presentations from a range of food-to-go operators including Benugo, Greggs, the Co-Op, M&S and Crussh.

Key takeaways from the conference included:

  • 75% of people eat out of home at least once a week (FSA research)
  • 'Healthy choices' will be a key driver of growth in the market, with customers showing that they are choosing healthy options for their meals, albeit sub-consciously as
  • 'Health' is sometimes viewed as a negative by consumers, as they often relate it to denying themselves, or giving up on taste. Operators need to make the health message a more positive one by doing things such as opening up food preparation areas / kitchen areas so customers can observe their food being prepared
  • Beyond 'health', other trends seen in the marketplace include retail first formats moving into food-to-go, coffee specialists improving their food offering and an increased focus on alternative locations by operators
  • A number of the retail led presenters commented on the importance of in-store theatre in driving customers to their locations, and helping them compete with the more traditional food-to-go specialists. They also commented on partnerships being a key growth driver for them as they look to compete more aggressively in this arena
  • Branded products are very important in the food-to-go market as consumers view relatively few products on a shelf, with 90% of purchase decisions made immediately
  • Technology is being used heavily by the established food-to-go operators in order to tailor customized offerings to app users and drive alternative sales growth (eg. click and collect ordering)
  • Flexibility of store formats (eg.a mix of traditional stores, concessions, food trucks, pop ups) is a great way to drive growth as operators need to migrate their offer to suit the markets they serve
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