Food-to-go still accounts for ‘one-in-four out of home occasions’

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Food to go still seems to be popular among Britons as over one in 4 (28 per cent) visits made to a foodservice operator in the past recent months were consumed on the go, says a latest quarterly update to the Lumina Intelligence UK Food To Go Market Report 2021.

This is down from 1 in 3 in the previous 12 weeks. As restrictions have eased, consumers have moved more to on premise drinking and dining.

“Was out and about” is the leading mission (22 per cent) driving FTG occasions. This is likely to increase further as consumers become more confident post vaccination. A treat is the second largest occasion at 14 per cent, displaying the opportunity for operators to introduce more premium ranges to drive upsell and increase consumer spend.

The vast majority (78 per cent) of food led food to go visits continue to include savoury food. Options which are easy to eat on the go, such as sandwiches, wraps and burgers are preferred by consumers. 

The most purchased options include sandwiches/wraps, burgers and fries driven by the brands dominating the market.

McDonald’s is the dominating brand in food to go with a 10 per cent share of occasions. Greggs and Costa Coffee come in second and third with a 9 per cent share each. 

McDonald’s, Greggs and Costa have a high share due to a high number of outlets and a strong presence in a diverse range of locations including suburban towns, travel hubs, commuter belt towns and city centres.

Katherine Prowse, Senior Insight Manager at Lumina Intelligence said, “Despite restrictions easing and consumers returning to their favourite dine-in restaurants, pubs and cafes, food to go still accounts for over one-in-four out of home occasions. With the continuation of hybrid working and reduced city centre footfall, this highlights the resilience of the channel and the important role it continues to play in recovery.”

“Proximity, previous experiences and value for money are the key reasons driving consumers to choose a particular food to go outlet. Ease of ordering across the food to go channel is the area that satisfies consumers the most. Operators have continued investment in touchscreen and kiosk ordering and this will be a key driver for food to go growth.”