ShopperVista from IGD highlights three trends shaping the food-to-go market

Date : 28 May 2021

In its latest report “Food-to-go: What’s next for Shoppers”, ShopperVista from IGD – provider of trusted daily shopper insights – examines shopper behaviour across the food-to-go sector and reveals the three trends currently shaping the market.

The quarterly report provides insight into the behaviour, missions, operator usage and preferences of food-to-go shoppers* to help operators, retailers and suppliers shape their strategies based on shopper needs.

Rhian Thomas, Head of Insight at ShopperVista and FTG, explains the key findings from the latest report: “The third national lockdown resulted in a decrease in food-to-go missions, but not to the extent of the first, and interestingly, evening food-to-go missions became more common than lunch. There was a 3% increase in dedicated ‘food-to-go’ missions between February and March 2021 which is a reassuring indicator for the industry. But shopper behaviours have shifted significantly during the pandemic and as a result, we are seeing key trends emerge that operators, retailers and suppliers should consider.”

The three key trends are:

1. Evening food-to-go is on the rise

In the most recent lockdown, evening food-to-go missions reached their highest recorded level, becoming more common than lunch missions. This could be a result of the growth of delivery services, which have made a wider range of products more accessible. It also raises the question of whether shoppers will continue to choose food-to-go in the evenings, as restrictions ease and the out of home sector reopens.

2. Demand for hot food-to-go options is increasing

Hot food-to-go options are becoming more popular. Demand for a range of food-to-go choices which are less portable could increase as levels of working from home are expected to be elevated compared to pre-pandemic times.

3. Convenience is influencing purchasing choices

Demand for convenience and new service expectations have been set, particularly amongst younger shoppers. 40% of 18-24 year-olds state that having the ability to pre-order is an important consideration in deciding where to purchase food-to-go.

The report also reveals that food-to-go purchases continue to be driven by a typical 9-5 weekday working pattern, despite more people working from home. This behaviour could continue to be supported by a ‘suburban shift’ as food-to-go businesses shift away from city centres into suburban areas to follow the consumer. A lower density footfall compared to city centres and transport hubs, combined with different peak times and shopper profiles, will mean new operating models will evolve to meet consumer needs.

*ShopperVista is in touch with shoppers 365 days a year. The Food-to-Go study engages with 1000 food-to-go shoppers every quarter.


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Notes to editors:

  1. IGD is an organisation of two interconnected communities. The profits from Commercial Insight are reinvested into Social Impact, which together work to drive change that makes a tangible difference for society, business and the individual.

    Commercial Insight is delivered through six core areas:
    1. Retail Analysis – providing trusted data and insight, straight from the heart of retail;
    2. ShopperVista – providing insight that creates the foundation for progressive shopper and category thinking;
    3. Events – providing compelling experiences that connect people and ideas together;
    4. MarketTrack – the most trusted, rigorous market read in the retail sector;
    5. Supply Chain Analysis – providing answers and unlocking potential;
    6. Solutions – personalised solutions that address the critical customer and commercial challenges.
    Social Impact from IGD is delivered in four key areas:
    1. People
    2. Health
    3. Sustainability
    4. Economics
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