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:
- 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:
Social Impact from IGD is delivered in four key areas:
- Retail Analysis – providing trusted data and insight, straight from the heart of retail;
- ShopperVista – providing insight that creates the foundation for progressive shopper and category thinking;
- Events – providing compelling experiences that connect people and ideas together;
- MarketTrack – the most trusted, rigorous market read in the retail sector;
- Supply Chain Analysis – providing answers and unlocking potential;
- Solutions – personalised solutions that address the critical customer and commercial challenges.
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