Greggs pips McDonald’s to claim top spot in food to go market

Greggs pips McDonald’s
Greggs at Staplehurst, Kent

Greggs has overtaken McDonald’s to become the dominant player in the food to go sector, a new report by Lumina Intelligence has revealed.

According to the latest update to the market researcher’s UK Food To Go Market Report 2021, Greggs is the dominating brand with a 10.7 per cent share of occasions, after increasing its share by 1.3ppts in the 12 weeks to 28 November 2021.

The growth experienced by Greggs is reflected in sausage rolls, holding a 5 per cent share of total food to go food items purchased. However, burgers still had the highest share with 19.2 per cent, followed by sandwiches with 11.3 per cent.

The return of people to work and schools in September helped to boost overall food to go sales, with 27 per cent of visits to foodservice operators for food to go missions over the 12-week period. Travelling or commuting increased as a reason for a FTG occasion by +2ppts in the same period.

Coffee shops and cafes maintained largest share of FTG occasions, followed by retail. This increased towards the end of October and November with consumers more likely to be out and about, looking for a convenient solution, with proximity (37 per cent) increasing as a reason for choosing a venue (+1ppt).

Coffee and hot drinks also increased their share of drinks purchases. Coffee dominated drinks occasions, accounting for over two-in-five purchases (+3ppts).The report noted that the increase in share can be attributed to consumers returning to offices and working lifestyles, as well as the cooling weather fostering consumer appetite for hot drinks. Hot chocolate and tea have also benefited from the move towards hot drinks, increasing by +2ppts and+1ppt.

“Throughout September, October and November, we have seen an uptick in the proportion of consumers purchasing food to go due to commuting or travelling. Consumers have been returning to the workplace, resulting in a buoyant period for operators, as FTG accounts for more than one-in-four out of home occasions,” Blonnie Whist, insight director at Lumina Intelligence said.

“With the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus gathering pace, restrictions are starting to get tighter, with the government recommending people work from home where possible. This is likely to cause a fall in FTG occasions, however, operators and retailers in more suburban, residential areas remain well placed to capitalise on the “food to go home” trend and continue to drive footfall despite a less transient workforce.”