'In the loop' - How is the consumption of Food-to-Go changing?
Food-to-Go has had its foot rooted in convenience shopping since it established itself in its own lane.
Alongside ever-chaning and adapting consumer habits and preferences, the Industry has seen its products being demanded under new circumstances. Nowadays, with the wide variety and availability of cuisines, products and options for each meal, consumers can grab their food at more convenient times, when and where they need it.
These changing demands are no doubt massively contributing to the Food-to-Go Sector is set to grow 26.4% by 2024. With this quickly expanding market comes new challenges for food-to-go distributors who have to quickly adapt to new trends.
How is consumption changing?
Food-to-Go consumption has seen a large increase for evening meals. This aligns with a shifting consumption trend towards buying food-to-go as part, or as evening meals. One source discovered that 60% of food-to-go shoppers now turn to food-to-go options as part of their evening meal, which begs the question as to how businesses will rise to the challenge and expand product ranges to cater for these preferences.
Similarly, evening food to go shoppers spend more, with an average spend of £5.83, and these consumers are demanding more hot options. This trend is not unique to the food-to-go sector, and it falls under the larger wing of convenience shopping. The rising demand by consumers for producers and distributors to supply the right products at the right times which in this instance, means a shift towards evenings.
A demand for more options
MCA Insight & HIM head of insight, Blonnie Walsh, has argued that retailers will struggle in the coming years to sustain this growth, and predicts a decline, contrary to other figures.
Walsh has stated that the primary promotional motor for retailers is meal-deals, but with consumer’s demanding different, and more importantly, wider varieties of convenient products, it is unclear how companies will adapt and provide new ways to entice consumers.
To meet dietary requirements, a growth of vegan and vegetarian food-to-go options has been noticed, and this will only grow as the food-to-go sector looks for new ways to appeal and sustain its growth in the coming years.