UK food to go sector to grow by 35% in the next five years


UK shoppers’ preference for eating on the move shows no sign of slowing with the food to go sector set to grow by more than a third in the next five years, IGD forecasts.

The retail channel is currently valued at £17.4 billion, and by 2022 IGD estimates that it will rise by 35% to £23.5 billion.

It is predicted that specialist food to go retailers such as Greggs, Subway and Pret a Manger are to overtake quick service restaurants to become the biggest part of the market in the next five years.

The growth is partly put down to innovative product and menu development, inspired by consumer trends towards healthy products as well as global flavours. Operators are also tempting shoppers with ranges tailored to different times of the day.

IGD senior insight manager Gavin Rothwell said: “Food to go specialists are really setting the pace on product innovation and range development, as well as expanding quite rapidly outside London, which is why we’re forecasting them to become the biggest part of the food to go market by the end of 2022.

“In addition to the well-known high street names, there are several new players emerging in this segment as well. Health and wellness is a particularly big focus for these specialists, with three-quarters (76%) of shoppers satisfied with the choice of healthy options available in-store, higher than any other segment of the food to go market.”

He added: “Convenience and forecourt retailers have spotted a great opportunity in the food to go market and are now becoming increasingly active in this area, either through their own ranges or by teaming up with well-known brand names to add credibility. Younger shoppers are particularly likely to drive growth in these stores, with 18-25 year olds twice as likely to buy food to go in convenience stores compared to their older counterparts.”

IGD is an education and training charity for the food and grocery industry that undertakes research to identify opportunities to tackle business challenges.


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