A boost for food to go market

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.