Photo: Thomas Hawk/

Convenience stores are losing food to go share to more specialist FTG operators, says a new report from MCA Insight & HIM.

The research and insight agencies, however, forecast a £0.5 billion FTG value growth in the convenience retail sector over the next three years.

The insight, from MCA and HIM’s exclusive UK food to go Market Report 2019 that launched today (7 February), was conducted through over 72,000 online consumer surveys, 20,000 face-to-face shopper interviews and analysis of MCA’s market sizing and company tracking databases, agencies claimed.

According to the report, the value of the UK food to go market is set to be worth £21.2 billion in 2019, a growth rate of 3 percent on 2018. Within c-stores, food to go is set to be worth £6.2 billion in 2019, with a total share of around 30 percent of the market.

Despite continuous growth for the total market, the share that convenience holds has declined slightly since 2013, observes the report.

Improvements to availability, quality and speed of service from foodservice FTG specialists is increasingly becoming more of a threat, it added.

Val Kirillovs, research and insights director at HIM said: “Despite a slight decline in share over the last 6 years, the food to go market is pivotal to the convenience sector. Our shopper research highlights price and convenience as two of the key trends that retailers need to focus on.”

“Lunch and snack occasions are dominated by the grocery retailers, however consumers are placing greater importance on range, in particular healthier options. Those retailers that are seeing great success in FTG are offering a variety of hot and cold options that cater to the needs of their particular shoppers. These will be best placed to maximise their share of the £0.5 billion prize that has been forecasted for the channel over the next three years.”