Wholesale experts TWC, in partnership with food-to-go and out-of-home tracking programme MealTrak, have reported growth in the number and value of out-of-home eating occasions for the 12 weeks to August 8.
Out of out-of-home eating occasions were 5% higher than in 2021, at 814 million, while value was up 15% over the same period. Value growth exceeded occasions growth due to inflation.
Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, development director at TWC, said: “Spend on out of home consumption reached almost £5bn in the 12 weeks ending 8 August 2022, representing growth of 12% versus the same period in 2021. Value growth is significantly outstripping growth in terms of the number of occasions as inflation takes hold.
“We are seeing treating as a mission falling back in importance, with a focus on value very evident through increases in ‘inexpensive’, ‘quick and easy’ and ‘filling’. In line with this, we are seeing strong performance in categories associated with ‘meal deals’ such as crisps, nuts, popcorn, sandwiches and drinks.
“The challenge for food to go and eating out of home specialists will be how to ensure they retain their share of the market. During Covid, we saw many retailers reduce their food to go ranges, but maybe now is the time to consider expansion once more as food to go is generally more resilient through tough economic times due to its lower price point than more formal dining occasions, acting as something of an ‘affordable treat’.”