The UK’s food-to-go sector will be worth £23.5 billion by 2022, up from £17.4 billion in 2017, according to market research group IGD.
For its research, the group split the market into five segments: food-to-go specialists, quick service restaurants, coffee specialists, convenience/forecourt & other retailers, and supermarkets/hypermarkets.
IGD forecasts a particularly strong growth among specialist food-to-go retailers, with the value of this segment expected to grow by £2.6 billion to £7.7 billion in 2022. They are set to overtake quick service restaurants, which IGD predicts will only grow by £0.9 billion to £6.3 billion.
“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,” said Gavin Rothwell, senior insight manager at IGD.
“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.”
However, quick service restaurants are also set to experience growth over the next five years. According to IGD, 83% of the consumers visiting these stores are satisfied with their overall experience.
“Many QSR chains are updating their menus and reinventing the in-store experience to bring in more technology, creating a more premium look and feel to appeal to younger consumers. There are also many newer players emerging and expanding across the UK in this segment,” said Rothwell.
The group says that food, especially breakfast, is also a growing focus among coffee specialists. While hot drinks are bought by 49% of shoppers and remain the most purchased food-to-go product at breakfast, hot food and fruits have been on the rise over the last year, being purchased by 20% and 24% of all customers, respectively.
IGD noted that convenience and forecourt retailers, as well as supermarkets and hypermarkets, are increasingly expanding their own food-to-go ranges and teaming up with well-known brands as well as suppliers. Younger shoppers are twice as likely to buy food-to-go in a convenience store than their older counterparts, while 55% of all food-to-go shoppers shop at a supermarket or hypermarket.
Blurred Market Segments
“In future, we expect to see the five market segments we’ve identified become increasingly blurred, as specialists and grocery retailers continue to combine great fresh food-to-go ranges with excellent drinks offers that tick the boxes for shoppers when it comes to quality,” Rothwell added.
“It’s common for shoppers to visit more than one store to complete their food-to-go shop, especially at breakfast (53%) but also throughout the day. Suppliers to the food-to-go sector therefore have a great opportunity to work closely with retailers and specialists to create winning ranges that will ultimately meet more shoppers’ needs, making their lives easier.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Larissa Zimmer. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.