Baker Street Coop_hot food

Food to go occasions have dipped as consumers return to on-premise dining.

According to the updated Lumina Intelligence UK Food To Go Market Report 2021, more than one-in-four (28%) visits made to a foodservice operator in the 12 weeks to 5 September 2021 were consumed on the go.

This is down from one-in-three when compared to the previous 12 weeks. The dip has been attributed to consumers have moved more to on-premise drinking and dining as restrictions eased.

The research found that ‘Was out and about’ is the leading mission (22%) driving food to go occasions. Lumina Intelligence expects that this is likely to increase as consumers become more confident post vaccination. A ‘treat’ is the second-largest occasion at 14%, displaying the opportunity for operators to introduce more premium ranges to drive upsell and increase consumer spend.

The report found food to go consumers are more likely to be ABC1 (64% vs 36%), to be aged 25-34 (27%), to be female (55% vs 45%) and to be in London (17%) or the South East (12%).

Senior insight manager at Lumina Intelligence Katherine Prowse said that even though there was a dip, the category remains strong. “Despite restrictions easing and consumers returning to their favourite dine-in restaurants, pubs and cafes, food to go still accounts for over one-in-four out of home occasions. With the continuation of hybrid working and reduced city centre footfall, this highlights the resilience of the channel and the important role it continues to play in recovery.”

“Proximity, previous experiences and value for money are the key reasons driving consumers to choose a particular food to go outlet. Ease of ordering across the food to go channel is the area that satisfies consumers the most. Operators have continued investment in touchscreen and kiosk ordering and this will be a key driver for food to go growth.”