Food to go opportunity in convenience
28 October 2014
Jenny Pratt, Senior Insights Director
Food to go is fast becoming a core mission for convenience. In a like for like year, the number of shoppers on a FTG mission grew +5%, and share of trade spend +4%, meaning that 15p in every pound spent in convenience stores is now spent on food and or drink to go.
Whatever the occasion or need-state, convenience is now a credible channel for food to go. Lunch remains the key occasion, with the opportunities lying in “lunch completion” via complementary categories, for example, 57% of those that bought a sandwich did not buy a snack item, like crisps.
Food to go is disproportionately more popular in London c-stores, with 1 in 3 shoppers using a c-store to buy food to go. These shoppers in particular are more concerned with the range available, and tend to want healthier options, particularly at breakfast.
Regardless of region, the big difference between food to go in convenience as opposed to foodservice channels is that there has to be a price and value message. This is more important to convenience store shoppers on this mission than any other variable, like quality or freshness etc. Deals and/or a positive value perception, coupled with the right range for key food to go occasions, will keep convenience stores a popular choice for those who wish to “refuel” on the go.