Food-to-go sales to hit £23.5bn by 2022

The UK’s food-to-go sector will be worth £23.5bn by 2022, up from its current value of £17.4bn, according to IGD, the food and grocery market research organisation.

IGD’s food-to-go research splits the market into five segments, with the organisation’s latest forecasts suggesting particularly strong growth among specialist food-to-go retailers (e.g. Greggs, Subway, Pret, EAT and Leon), which are set to overtake quick service restaurants (QSRs) to become the biggest part of the market in the next five years.

“As shoppers become more sophisticated in their tastes and demands, so too does the UK’s food-to-go market,” said IGD senior insight manager, Gavin Rothwell. “Across all our five market segments we’re seeing some highly innovative product and menu development, much of this inspired by shopper trends towards health and wellness and global flavours and tastes. Many operators are looking to tempt shoppers with ranges tailored to different times of day, while also improving the quality of their fresh food and coffee offers.

“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.”

The company added that, In addition to the well-known high street names, there are several new players emerging in the segment, with health and wellness being a particularly big focus for food-to-go specialists.

“Although we expect the specialists to become the biggest part of the market by 2022, QSRs are also set to grow well over the next five years, with 83% of the food-to-go shoppers who visit these stores satisfied with their overall experience,” said IGD.

“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.”

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