Raven's Budgens

The UK food-to-go market is predicted to grow by +31.8% in 2022, to a value of £21.3bn, according to Lumina Intelligence’s new report.

Lumina Intelligence’s Food To Go (FTG) market report states that key FTG channels, such as convenience stores, are expected to exceed 2019 turnover this year, whilst more traditional fast food operators like McDonald’s and KFC will have a slower recovery.

Travel, coffee shops/café’s and street food are expected to see the strongest growth in share from 2016-2022, but convenience stores still remain the largest channel in the FTG market, with a share of 28.3%.

As consumer expectations increase, the convenience channel is losing its share to higher spend FTG specialists, as the report predicts that over 1500 new outlets will open this year, led by sandwich and bakery, coffee shop and travel segments.

Operators across the food to go market including Greggs, Costa Coffee and Pret A Manger 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.

The research found that 30% of UK adults have a food to go occasion at least once per week, the report states, with drink and lunch holding  the biggest share of FTG occasions by day part – a combined 66% of occasions. The drink occasion has seen a further boost to day part share of +2.4ppts with hot drink on the go purchases taking a greater share amid a raft of operator innovation around festive hot drinks.

Blonnie Whist, insight director at Lumina Intelligence said: “During the pandemic, the very nature of food to go was hampered by tight restrictions on movement. However, the channel has always been well placed to recover post-pandemic. This is apparent in our forecasts, which indicate a full recovery by the end of 2022. This 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 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.”