What’s Next for Food-to-Go?

Excitement is building for the biggest event in the Irish retail industry as a host of international speakers prepare to descend on Ireland for a special one-day conference, trade show, and Gala Awards Ceremony.

Food-to-go is one of the most dynamic channels in today’s grocery market. A combination of factors including new payment technology, global food trends and a drive for convenience to meet busy consumer lifestyles has helped to ignite the sector and produce rapid growth in the market like never before.

According to research from Bord Bia, consumers spent a whopping €458m on food-to-go across the island of Ireland last year.

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Supermarket prepared foods are becoming increasingly popular, and forecourt convenience stores are sprinting to keep up with the increasing demands of consumers stopping by to grab a quick snack or hot beverage at all hours of the day.

A major factor that lies behind this surge is the fact that busier schedules demand more convenient foodservice solutions. Consumers are looking to source food anytime, anywhere, and foodservice has benefitted from this.

The 2016 Morgan McKinley Working Hours Survey reveals that nearly three quarters of Irish employees report they worked longer hours than they are contracted to in 2016. Of those surveyed, just over two-fifths (41.6 percent) reported working six hours or more over their contracted hours each week.

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Foodservice operators have begun to supply solutions such as order ahead, click and collect and third-party delivery to answer consumers’ growing need for convenient meals. In addition, retailers, convenience stores and pubs have recently added or improved their foodservice offerings in attempts to satisfy this growing consumer need.

Moreover, food-to-go continues to out-perform the total ‘eating out’ market across the UK with a further £2bn growth forecasted over next three years, says MCA Insight & HIM.

According to their report, the value of the UK Food-To-Go market is set to be worth £21.2bn in 2019, a growth rate of 3 percent on 2018.While Food-To-Go is not immune to the prevailing tightening in the consumer economy, greater affordability means it has continued to outperform the overall ‘eating out’ market. 

Steve Gotham, Director of Insight at MCA says: “Food-to-go is a growing and increasingly influential component within the total ‘eating out’ market. Winners will be operators and retailers who impress on the core needs of speed, value and quality.”

With the food-to-go market booming and growing rapidly, make sure you’re up to speed and prepared to meet the increasing demands of today’s consumer.

Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit brings you everything they need to know on food-to-go, fresh food concepts, and fast casual dining from around the world. If you make it one conference this year, make sure you make it to this one.

Eight incredible speakers are being announced this month. Find out more in your May/June copy of Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer…