Food-to-go market set to grow

vegan sausage rolls

The UK food-to-go market is forecast to grow by 31.8% in 2022, to a value of £21.3bn, according to the new Lumina Intelligence UK Food To Go Market Report 2022.

The report predicts that food-to-go channels will fully recover and exceed their 2019 pre-pandemic market value.

Food-to-go will grow by £1.7bn from 2022-2025, with robust growth of 2.5% per annum, to total £23bn in 2025, the report forecasts.

In addition, the report shows that convenience store grab-and-go remains the largest channel in the market, at a share of 28.3%, but the channel is losing share to higher spend food-to-go specialists as consumer quality expectations increase.

The UK food-to-go market is set to see a net increase of 1,517 sites in 2022, led by sandwich & bakery, coffee shop, and travel segments. Outlet growth in the market is expected to reach its highest figure in six years, at 1.2% in 2025, to 156,120 outlets.

The report says operators are diversifying outlet coverage in line with changes to consumer habits following the pandemic, with operators targeting more drive-thru, travel-led sites, as well as neighbourhood and suburban locations.

Drink and lunch hold the biggest share of food-to-go occasions by day part, with a combined 66% of occasions, the report finds.

Blonnie Whist, Insight Director at Lumina Intelligence, said: “Growth is set to be driven by a number of factors. Firstly, the reopening of hospitality, as well as recovery in city centre footfall, will drive food-to-go occasions as more consumers return to offices at least some of the working week. Secondly, recovery in travel and tourism will boost food-to-go throughout key parts of 2022, including the summer months. Thirdly, food-to-go is a relatively low ticket item and is well placed to capitalise on tighter budgets as consumers feel the impact of cost increases across food, fuel and utility bills as well as taxation.”