Food to go is still a substantial part of the out of home market, despite a decline as more consumers have moved to on premise drinking and dining, according to the latest quarterly update to the Lumina Intelligence UK Food To Go Market Report 2021.

It found that more than 1 in 4 (28%) visits made to a foodservice operator in the 12 weeks to September 5 were consumed on the go.

This is down from 1 in 3 in the previous 12 weeks. As Covid-19 restrictions have eased, consumers have moved more to on premise drinking and dining.

Food to go consumers are more likely to be ABC1 (64% versus 36%), to be aged 25-34 (27%), to be female (55% versus 45%) and to be in London (17%) or the South East (12%).

“Was out and about” is the leading mission (22%) driving FTG occasions. Lumina predicts this is likely to increase further as consumers become more confident post vaccination. A treat is the second largest occasion at 14%, displaying the opportunity for operators to introduce more premium ranges to drive upsell and increase consumer spend.

The vast majority (78%) of food-led food to go visits continue to include savoury food. Options which are easy to eat on the go, such as sandwiches, wraps and burgers are preferred by consumers. The most purchased options include sandwiches/wraps, burgers and fries driven by the brands dominating the market.

McDonald’s is the biggest brand in food to go with a 10% share of occasions. Greggs and Costa Coffee come in second and third with a 9% share each.

Katherine Prowse, senior insight manager at Lumina Intelligence said, “Despite restrictions easing and consumers returning to their favourite dine-in restaurants, pubs and cafes, food to go still accounts for over one-in-four out of home occasions. With the continuation of hybrid working and reduced city centre footfall, this highlights the resilience of the channel and the important role it continues to play in recovery.”

“Proximity, previous experiences and value for money are the key reasons driving consumers to choose a particular food to go outlet. Ease of ordering across the food to go channel is the area that satisfies consumers the most. Operators have continued investment in touchscreen and kiosk ordering and this will be a key driver for food to go growth.”

For more information of Lumina Intelligence’s UK Food To Go Market Report 2021 click here