Insights organisation IGD has identified five key trends that are driving the food-to-go market’s recovery.
The organisation predicts that investment in suburban locations will increase and operators will continue to adapt their offers to meet new opportunities, such as vending and micro-markets. Formats are also being adapted to processes, such as delivery orders being dispatched away from walk-in customers, delivery and takeaway-only formats.
The IGD also forecasts that price will be a key focus, driven by varying household budgets and frequency of spending. It says that while some consumers look for affordable everyday treats, others trade up to a more premium offer. Meal deals are increasingly popular at both the lower and higher end of the scale, giving consumers the reassurance of knowing what they are paying, regardless of their budget, the IGD adds.
In addition, the organisation says that data is being used more intelligently, to develop new products and formats, but also to automate processes, such as customer ordering via screens, to free up staff to deliver more added value activities that enhance the customer experience.
IGD forecasts that the sector can also expect to see more trialling of concepts and partnerships to assess viability and profitability before wider roll-out.
The IGD also predicts that health and wellbeing will be at the front of consumers’ minds and this will translate into all channels of the food and drink market.
Nicola Knight, Senior analyst from IGD and author of Food-to-go Trends 2022, said: “2022 will be a year for reflection, innovation, concept development and new ways of doing business, as the market moves forward to adapt to the changing needs of the consumer. With household finances under increasing pressure, the market faces new uncertainty and challenges, so the adaptability and agility demonstrated during Covid will need to remain.”