Food to go is continuing to outperform the total eating out market, according to the latest tracking survey from MCA.

The Q3 data from the consultancy shows that visit frequency for food to go has increased by 2.4% year in year, compared to a drop of 0.5% in the out of home eating market as a whole. In the year to September 2018, food to go accounts for 43.8% of total eating out occasions – up 1.3 percentage points since 2017. At 4.2bn, the total number of food to go occasions is 2.4% higher than last year, with average spend increasing by 6.2% to £6.84 over the past year, compared to a 0.6% rise in the total market.

According to MCA’s Food to Go Tracker, consumers prefer convenience stores and supermarkets for snacks and lunches, with coffee shops the top choice at breakfast. Lunch is the most popular mealtime, accounting for 23% of all visits, with consumers most likely to buy from Greggs, followed by McDonald’s and Tesco.

The latest themes and opportunities in the food to go market will be discussed at MCA’s annual Food to Go Conference at Ham Yard Hotel, London on Wednesday 6 February next year, including speakers from Leon, Yo! Sushi, EAT and Applegreen/Welcome Break.

For more details, and to book a place, visit