The value of food to go (FTG) within convenience is set to grow by £0.5bn over the next three years, although the sector has seen a slight decline in market share over the past few years due to the growth of specialists, according to a new report from MCA Insight and HIM Research & Consulting.

MCA and HIM’s UK Food To Go Market Report 2019 revealed that the value of the UK FTG market is set to be worth £21.2bn this year, up by 3% on 2018.

Within c-stores, FTG is set to be worth £6.2bn in 2019, up from £5.8bn in 2016, with a total share of around 30% of the market.

But despite continuous growth for the total market, the share that convenience holds has declined slightly in the last six years – from 29.5% in 2013 to 29.2% in 2019. Improvements to availability, quality and speed of service from foodservice FTG specialists is becoming more of a threat, according to the report.

However, convenience is expected grow its FTG value by £0.5bn over the next three years, highlighting a an opportunity for retailers to capitalise on.

HIM research and insights director, Val Kirillovs, said: “Despite a slight decline in share over the last six years, the food to go market is pivotal to the convenience sector. Our shopper research highlights price and convenience as two of the key trends that retailers need to focus on.”

“Lunch and snack occasions are dominated by the grocery retailers, however consumers are placing greater importance on range, in particular healthier options. Those retailers that are seeing great success in FTG are offering a variety of hot and cold options that cater to the needs of their particular shoppers. These will be best placed to maximise their share of the £0.5bn prize that has been forecasted for the channel over the next three years.”