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Food-to-go sales driving in-store changes says IGD

UK consumers are showing no sign of reducing their appetite for food-to-go products, according to new forecasts from the IGD.

The group says that our preference for eating on the move will see sales of food-to-go worth £23.5bn by 2022, up from £17.4bn in 2017.

Food-to-go specialists such as Greggs, Subway and Leon are expected to see especially strong growth, at the expense of more traditional QSR (quick service restaurant) operators. The specialists are predicted to take the largest share of the market by 2022, ahead of QSRs, coffee chains, convenience and forecourt retailers and supermarkets/hypermarkets.

“As shoppers become more sophisticated in their tastes and demands, so too does the UK’s food-to-go market,” says IGD senior insight manager Gavin Rothwell. “Across all our five market segments we’re seeing some highly innovative product and menu development, much of this inspired by shopper trends towards health and wellness and global flavours and tastes. Many operators are looking to tempt shoppers with ranges tailored to different times of day, while also improving the quality of their fresh food and coffee offers. “

The rapid expansion of food-to-go specialists outside London is helping to drive their growth, with new players stimulating the market. QSRs are expected to further update their menus and in-store experience to defend their share of the market, while convenience and forecourt stores are becoming increasingly active in the food-to-go category. Larger supermarkets are also dedicating more space to the category.

“In future, we expect to see the five market segments we’ve identified become increasingly blurred, as specialists and grocery retailers continue to combine great fresh food-to-go ranges with excellent drinks offers that tick the boxes for shoppers when it comes to quality,” adds Rothwell.

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