The latest insights from the Food To Go Market Report 2023, conducted by Lumina Intelligence, indicate that the UK food to go market is expected to grow by +4.1% in 2023F, with a total value of £22.2 billion.
Following a slow recovery in volumes, there has been a steady increase in travel and footfall, which will drive growth in 2023. The market is expected to see its strongest outlet growth since pre-pandemic, at +0.9% – a net gain of +1,397 to 152,120 sites.
The cost of living crisis is prompting changes in consumer behavior in the food to go market. Consumers are increasingly identifying as very value-led and treat and routine missions are in decline. Food and drink combined purchases are down as consumers become more selective with their spending. Retail has enjoyed a boost in its channel share, with grocery well placed to capitalise on value scrutiny following investment in foodservice partnerships, higher quality, and broader ranges of value-led food to go.
The report predicts consistent growth at a CAGR of +3.0% from 2023-2026, which will see the market reach a total value of £24.3 billion in 2026. Key food to go channels feature strong market players that are driving growth through physical expansion, day-part availability, and omnichannel propositions. Sustainability, omnichannel, and technology are expected to mould the future of food to go, as the UK faces structural economic challenges including a shrinking workforce.
Moreover, the report indicates that traveling and commuting food to go missions recovered as consumers returned to offices throughout 2022. “I was traveling/commuting” has seen the largest growth year-on-year at breakfast, snack and drink food to go day-parts. Recovery in commuter footfall highlights an opportunity for travel hub locations.