New research from IGD also noted different behaviors in evening visits.
Lunch continues to be the most frequented day time for customers who want to buy food-to-go, with sandwiches and cold wraps featuring in over half of all food-to-go visits.
Talking to 1,000 shoppers, IGD’s latest ShopperVista stats revealed that 70% of respondents in Q1 2019 have visited establishments selling food-to-go during lunch, followed by occasions to buy drinks (63%), evenings (62%), snacking occasions (52%) and leisure occasions (49%).
Breakfast occasions came in last with 36%, identical to its average percentage score in 2018.
Lunch occasions are also the strongest in terms of standalone food-to-go visits, with 56% in Q1 2019 compared to a slightly lower 55% in the same period last year. It also is four percentage points ahead of drink occasions (52%) and ten percentage points ahead of snacking occasions (46%).
40% of respondents say made standalone food-to-go visits for breakfast, whilst evenings had only 29%.
Different behaviors in evening visits
Sandwiches and cold wraps, which feature in 55% of all visits, also make up 65% of visits during lunch. Half of all visits also feature hot drinks, which also make up 57% of drink occasions.
Notably, 44% of evening food-to-go visits include hot food compared to 39% on average. In addition, IGD also observed higher levels of spending on evening food-to-go (£6.17) compared to the general average spend of £3.76.
IGD's data on average spend in FTG. Photo: Supplied
Split visits, which involve more than one store, also continue to be common place across breakfast (51%), snacking (60%) and lunch (57%) but decreases significantly for the evening visits (18%).
On services and features, 35% of respondents say a loyalty card system is important when deciding where to shop, followed by self-checkout service (34%), free WiFi service (16%) and themed food weeks (11%).
“Services such as self checkout, while they do have appeal, are not such a strong consideration for shoppers. However, it is worth noting that the appeal of some of these services does vary by shopper group. For example shoppers aged 18-24 are more likely to view a self checkout service as important (46% vs. 34%),” IGD head of shopper insight Rhian Thomas said.
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