Own-brand may be king in the overall ready meals market and chilled meals may generally outsell frozen ones, but there's one frozen food brand that's really bucking these trends and that's Kent-based Cook. Sales director Chris Portwood explains: "Cook overall has been in double-digit growth every year since we set the business up and, on average, our stores and concessions are delivering plus four per cent in like-for-like sales.
Top-selling microwavable snack Rustlers is reinforcing its commitment to doubling sales in convenience by 2020 with the introduction of two new products, new packaging and a £2.5m consumer marketing spend.
If you're of a certain age, you may remember your mum telling you that it was wrong to be seen eating out on the street. How times have changed! Eating on the move and buying food-to-go is commonplace and we're doing it more and more. Indeed IGD estimates that the food-to-go market will leap from the current £16.1bn to be worth £21.7bn by 2021. It adds that 'convenience, forecourts and other retailers' will see growth from £2.5bn in 2016 to £3.3bn in 2021.
It can be hard to keep up with changes in the food-to-go category as they keep coming thick and fast. But when you look at the data you can see why. According to Him!'s latest research, food-to-go drives 890 million shopping trips to convenience stores every year and contributes £3.9bn to the sector. Him! conducted 1,180 face-to-face food-to-go shopper interviews at Tesco Express, Sainsbury's Local, The Co-op, Spar, Budgens, Nisa, Costa, Greggs, Pret and Burger King during last summer. It found that supermarket c-stores were 'winning' with regard to quality of sandwiches and meal deal offers, while symbol stores were considered comparable with supermarket c-stores in terms of in-store bakery and food-to-go prices, but stronger in service.