Are you good to go?

Delice-to-go hot hold

A strong food-to-go offer is rapidly becoming vital for local retailers keen to attract new shoppers, grow sales and boost profits. SLR offers a few ideas for how to up your food-to-go game.

Food-to-go is arguably the biggest trend in local retailing at the moment, as the line between retail and foodservice becomes ever more blurred. Whether you are just starting out on your food-to-go journey or are simply building on an existing offer, the key profit is in doing food-to-go well.

There’s nothing as unappealing to shoppers as messy, dirty, half-empty food-to-go fixtures. So – no matter how you decide to do food-to-go – just make sure you do it well.

There are several strategies for building a strong food-to-go offer. One of the best is to work with an experienced, expert partner. They can provide solid advice on what good looks like and help implement a comprehensive solution in one fell swoop. Doing food-to-go half-heartedly is a recipe for disaster.

Delice de France is one of several options available to retailers looking to quickly take their food-to-go to a different level. Jenny Bayliss, the company’s Sales Operations Director, comments: “In convenience, in-store bakery shoppers spend more than average and shop more frequently, so there’s a significant opportunity to generate sales by providing on-the-move consumers with easy access to freshly-prepared food-to-go.”

Delice de France, formerly Aryzta Food Solutions, offers a broad range of food- and drink-to-go options to help retailers compete head-on with foodservice outlets.

It has recently strengthened its offering with the launch of two innovative food-to-go concepts specifically for the convenience channel:

  • Delice To Go – a dedicated food-to-go solution for consumers on the move, this classic range also focuses on healthier options including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free products. The range will offer a mid-market price point for consumers, with strong retailer margins. When paired with a premium coffee offering, retailers will be able to maximise their returns.
  • Baked by Delice – a premium in-store bakery solution, the range comprises a range of classic Delice de France bakery items focusing on speciality breads, innovative viennoiserie and sweet bakery treats.
Maximising food-to-go sales

Increasing Hot Food-to-go penetration by just 1% can add £23,609 a year to the average convenience store’s turnover [HIM, 2017]. Jenny Bayliss, Sales Operations Director at Delice de France identifies two key ways to boost food-to-go sales:

  • Cross-Merchandising – Many shoppers buy due to temptation, so simply positioning products and concepts together can increase sales. Delice de France’s coffee solution integrates stands to hold sweet treats to increase basket spend and upsell to shoppers whilst they are waiting for their coffee to pour.
  • Vegan – From Meat-Free Monday to the rise of Veganuary, plant-centric diets have taken centre stage as consumers look to reduce their meat consumption, for health or environmental reasons, and our vegan/vegetarian products enable retailers to adequately meet this growing market.

In addition, Delice de France offers a frozen solution – Delice at Home – which enables retailers who don’t have enough space for ovens but would still like to offer premium bakery items to take advantage of the growing demand for bake-at-home products.

One area where food-to-go retailers should definitely focus is on vegetarian and vegan lines. One obvious solution is in leveraging the power of the Quorn brand, the UK’s number one-meat free brand with annual sales in excess of £200m [IRI, Nov 2019].

According to the same data, the meat-free category has been in double digit growth since 2017. Almost 12 million households buy into meat-free, with 53% of consumers now cutting their meat intake [YouGov, 2018].

Quorn is advising retailers about the benefits of expanding their meat-free food-to-go offering beyond the chilled and frozen categories, with its first ever ambient offer, an eight-product range across three formats: Grains, Bowls and Strips.

Another big hitter getting increasingly involved in the meat-free food-to-go market is Rustlers. The company has just launched a new Moroccan Vegetarian Burger (RSP £2), made with chickpea, grated carrot and coriander and served with mango chutney and a yoghurt and mint sauce.

Aimed at driving penetration amongst younger shoppers, Rustlers believes its new vegetarian offering can generate more than £2m worth of incremental sales.

The importance of a strong soft drinks offer shouldn’t be overlooked either. It too is an area where there is potential for increased profits, according to Matt Gouldsmith, Channel Director, Wholesale at Lucozade Ribena Suntory.

“There is a real opportunity to grow the ‘With Food’ occasion in convenience stores,” he says. “By helping shoppers on this mission buy drinks from categories like flavoured carbonates, juices and juice drinks – such as Ribena, Ribena Frusion and Lucozade Energy – and tea infusions, water and squash on just four more trips per year, retailers can unlock their share of an extra £215m in additional sales annually.”

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