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    Convenience retail to lead food to go market, but with reduced share: report

    Photo: Thomas Hawk/flickr.com

    The food to go sector within convenience retail is forecast to reach £6.7 billion in 2023, up from £6.2 billion in 2019, predicts a new report.

    While the channel is set to keep its leading position, its share of the total FTG market is expected to decline to 28.3 percent by 2023, according to the MCA and HIM Food To Go Market Report 2020.

    The report estimates that the UK FTG market will continue to outperform the total UK eating out market and grow 2.7 percent in 2020 to a value of £21.7 billion.

    Convenience retail remains the number one channel for lunch and snack occasions, but share is slipping at snack occasions, the report finds. Although still accounting for one third of snack visits, c-store/supermarkets to go are losing share to coffee shops/cafés at this occasion.

    “With participation arguably reaching its peak, retailers are under pressure to find ways of increasing spend to mitigate a drop in FTG footfall,” said Blonnie Walsh, head of insight at MCA Insight & HIM.

    “Foodservice specialists are using innovation and technology to improve their offer beyond the traditional meal deal that has remained a staple within a c-store offering.”

    Walsh suggested that convenience retailers need to offer a wider variety of products within an FTG range.

    “Health has changed the landscape of FTG, with growth in vegetarian and vegan options, as well as other dietary requirements. In fact, 15 percent of FTG visitors have dietary requirements, so failure to offer a wider, more diverse range will see frequency continue to fall,” she said.

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