Health drives menu innovation in £17.4bn food-to-go market

The UK’s food-to-go sector will be worth £23.5bn by 2022, up from £17.4bn in 2017, according to IGD.

The analysts said shoppers’ preference for eating on the move shows “no signs of slowing down” thanks to plenty of menu innovation, much of it inspired by trends towards health and wellness, as well as global flavours and tastes.

IGD’s food-to-go research splits the market into five segments, with the organisation’s latest forecasts suggesting particularly strong growth among specialist food-to-go retailers – like Greggs, Subway, Pret, Eat and Leon.

These chains are set to overtake quick service restaurants (QSRs) and become the biggest part of the market in the next five years, according to IGD.

“Food-to-go specialists are really setting the pace on product innovation and range development, as well as expanding quite rapidly outside London,” said IGD senior insight manager Gavin Rothwell.

Health and wellness is a big focus for these specialists, he explained, with three-quarters (76%) of shoppers satisfied with the choice of healthy options available in-store, higher than any other segment of the food-to-go market.

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