A bigger slice of ‘on-the-go’ action

Costa Coffee Frappé range

With on-the-go occasions once again on the rise, local retailers have a tasty opportunity to make more of food- and drinks-to-go.

By Gaelle Walker

Things, they say, ‘can only get better’ and with the food-to-go market having grown by 9% in value within independent convenience stores in the latest 12 weeks (vs the same period a year ago) there’s certainly plenty of reasons for retailers to feel optimistic about their food-to-go futures.

In-fact, according to wholesale experts TWC, the value of food-to-go in total grocery retail has grown at an impressive 51% over the same period, highlighting not just the scale of the renewed consumer demand for on-the-go formats, but also, the sizeable opportunity that convenience retailers have to grow their share of this lucrative market even further.

Fortunately for retailers, the sector’s leading manufacturers and suppliers have been cooking up an array of innovative new products and formats to help them do just that.

With the Ready To Drink (RTD) coffee market now worth £228m and up 37% in value year on year, CCEP and Costa Coffee have launched a new RTD Frappé range, to drive incremental sales and help this key segment of the market hit its full potential.

The range has launched in two popular flavours from Costa Coffee’s coffee shop business – Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Caramel Swirl – in a drink that’s creamier, thicker and more indulgent than the existing Costa Coffee RTD line-up.

The line-up will be further supported with a subtle recipe tweak for its Latte and Flat White variants to deliver “a better Costa taste” and a bold new look to deliver maximum standout on the shelf.

Away from drinks-to-go, savoury pastry brand Ginsters is also strengthening its portfolio with two new limited-edition products for summer. Capturing a taste of the seasons, Four Cheese & Chive Slice and the Italian-inspired Meatball Marinara Bake, are both available nationwide now.

Both products have been designed to capitalise on the 27% growth in afternoon snacking – and respond “to the pre-family lifestyle of eating at diverse times” – often with two or three snacking times per day, Ginsters says.

The Meatball Marinara joins two other “world-inspired flavours” in the Ginsters’ Bakes range, which together are also seeking to recruit younger shoppers into the category.

And, with the morning goods category currently experiencing 11% year-on-year growth, Rustlers is also hoping to appeal to sweet-toothed shoppers with a new All Day Breakfast Pancake Stack.

The chilled breakfast product features three buttermilk pancakes, served with a sachet of maple syrup-style sauce.

“Breakfast is a staple occasion seeing long-term growth, with consumption dominated by a small number of core products. Performance of the category is in part driven by morning goods, including breakfast pastries, bagels and pancakes – which alone are experiencing 23% growth,” Kepak’s Head of Marketing, Consumer Brands, Elaine Rothballer says.

What to watch in 2022

John Want, Sales, Marketing and R&D Director of the Rich’s brand pinpoints four key product trends shaping demand in 2022.

  • Vegan victory: Demand for vegan options will continue to rise over the course of this year. Rich’s produce a number of plant-based bakery options for leading UK supermarkets, coffee shops and out-of-home outlets, and we’ve seen an increase in interest in plant-based sweet items in the past 18 months.
  • Picture perfect: We’re also getting more requests for ‘Instagrammable’ products, visually impactful indulgent treats – products that are not only great to eat, but also look fantastic on your social feeds.
  • Coffee shop experience: With more occasions to come together and eat as a group, we’ve seen an increase in demand for treats that offer a coffee shop experience in-home and can be divided up between many, such as social sharing buns. That is why we’ve developed our new Chocolate and Caramel Tear & Share Bun.
  • Pack a punch: Multi-pack formats of muffins and cookies have also performed well in recent months, ideal for snacking on the move, and we expect this to continue in the months ahead.