Food To Go To Grow by a Quarter

24th July 2019


The UK food-to-go market is forecast to increase by more than a quarter (26.4%) to reach £23.4bn by 2024, up from £18.5bn in 2019, according to research from retail analysis company IGD.


The channel is to undergo double the growth of the wider UK food and grocery retail market (12.5%) during the next five years, according to the report. IGD forecasts food-to-go specialists such as Greggs, Subway, Pret A Manger and Leon will see sales increase from £5.0bn in 2019 to £6.3bn in 2024, with market share falling slightly from 27% to 26.9% during the same period.


For quick service restaurants (QSR), IGD forecasts sales will increase from £5.8bn in 2019 to £7.2bn in 2024, with the sector’s market share falling slightly from 31.5% to 30.9%. IGD forecasts coffee shop operators will see their sales share increase from £3.3bn in 2019 to £4.3bn in 2024.


The sector’s market share will increase from 17.8% to 18.2% during the same period, according to the report. Rhian Thomas, head of shopper and food-to-go insight at IGD, said: “Significant growth opportunities exist for those with a relevant proposition who target the right locations, as the combination of high rents and increased competition encourages a growing number of operators to vary their location strategy.


The QSR channel has remained strong despite an increase in the choice of food-to-go options and a greater focus on healthier eating – not usually associated with QSRs.


Growth is being driven through  in-store environments improvements, technology advancements along and targeted marketing.


There is also  a clear trend towards the expansion of smaller, more niche coffee chains as they focus on different shopper needs, whether a stronger all-round food offer at the likes of Costa, Starbucks and Caffe Nero, a targeted offer such as waffles at Black Sheep Coffee.

In the US restaurant booking platform OpenTable has added delivery to its offering. The company has partnered with Caviar, Grubhub and UberEats to offer delivery and pick-up options at thousands of restaurants on its updated iOS app. Diners can now select from multiple delivery providers to order or pick up a meal. At launch, Caviar, Grubhub and UberEats will power delivery for more than 8,000 restaurants across America.
Future features will include estimated delivery time and cost. When searching for a restaurant or visiting a restaurant profile page on the app, diners will see a “get it delivered” button.
For restaurants with multiple delivery partners, OpenTable shows each choice. OpenTable chief technology officer Joseph Essas said: “Sometimes plans change or the weather doesn’t co-operate. Instead of cancelling their reservation, diners can now enjoy the meal they planned from home. Our goal is to make OpenTable the go-to app for all dining occasions. Adding delivery is an important next step.”