The food-to-go market is up by £2.5bn since mid-2015, three times faster than on-premise spending, according to the latest figures from The NPD Group.
For the year ending July 2018, there were 5.1bn food-to-go visits (excluding delivery and drive thru’), an increase of 2%, compared to 4.4bn on-premise visits, a decrease of 3.5%.
In the three years since July 2015, food-to-go visits have increased 4%.
Of the 11.3bn OOH annual foodservice visits in the UK, food-to-go represents 48%, while on-premise consumption is 42%, delivery 6% and drive thru’ 4%.
Convenience and lower spend appear to be the biggest drivers for consumers choosing food-to-go, with people leading busier lifestyles and meal deals saving them money.
Around 20% of visits result in food and drink consumed back in the workplace or at school/college, 8% don’t make it any further than the car, and 7% eat or drink while walking on the street or sitting in a public place. Only 3% of food and drink is consumed on public transport, but this is growing five times faster than the overall food-to-go trend.
Looking at dayparts, food-to-go is 50% of all breakfast visits, 48% of lunchtime visits and 59% of snacking. Even 37% of all dinner visits comprise of food-to-go.
“Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a snack,” comments The NPD Group insights director Dominic Allport.“When you buy food or drink away from home, you have two main choices – eat it in the premises in which you made the purchase or eat it ‘on-the-go’. The lion’s share is ‘food-to-go’ and reflects how consumers are trying to save time and money. For many of us, working life means rushing to our workplace and then rushing around again during meal breaks. Food-to-go is an integral part of our lifestyle and underlines how much we are keeping an eye on the clock….and on our wallets.
“A generation ago, food-to-go might stretch little further than a sausage roll, a bag of chips, a cheeseburger, a sandwich or a cream bun. Today’s offerings inject innovation, portability and ease-of-consumption across a huge range of international hot and cold cuisines to create exciting meals, snacks and beverages for any time of day. There’s no doubt that foodservice operators are grasping the ‘food-to-go’ opportunity by offering increasingly appetizing and healthy options.”