Food-to-go is one of the most dynamic channels in today’s grocery market.
Research and training charity IGD found several factors that put the spotlight on the UK’s burgeoning food-to-go market, such as the existing variety and innovation within the sector, the market’s growth rate, and changing consumer behaviour.
“Retailers are expanding and evolving their ranges; new food halls are popping up and specialists are entering the market. We’re also seeing the emergence of different partnerships bringing food-to-go solutions to new locations and shoppers,” Rhian Thomas, IGD Head of Shopper Insight, wrote.
“We predict [the market] will be worth £23.5 billion by 2022. Shoppers’ changing behaviour is transforming the landscape, bringing a wealth of new opportunities for categories and products.”
For instance, research found that 52% of food-to-go shoppers visited two or more stores during the last time they had bought breakfast. Split missions are becoming more common, as consumers feel the desire to get more value for money and to get their favourite hot drink.
“Shoppers feel they can’t or they don’t want to buy everything in one place. Either way, this is a huge opportunity for food-to-go operators to fill the gaps and boost their basket size,” Thomas said.
Lastly, food halls are seeing a revival. Although obviously not a new concept, food halls are refreshing themselves, offering different and innovative products, increasing the likely options for food-to-go shoppers.
“We’re seeing variation on meal deals. They’re moving into other occasions like breakfast; it’s no longer just about lunch. More operators have been getting involved, for instance the recent Costa Coffee Plus Menu meal deal,” Thomas said.
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