To-Go Food Poised to Grow at U.K. Convenience Stores

The prepared foods segment in the United Kingdom is projected to jump 26.4% by 2024.

August 02, 2019

LONDON—Convenience stores are poised to reap the benefits of a growing prepared foods sector in the United States, Talking Retail reports. According to IGD stats, the to-go food segment will accelerate at double the speed of the food and grocery market over the next five years.

“Convenience and food-to-go are increasingly intertwined, as food-to-go success becomes increasingly critical to the prospects of most convenience stores,” said Rhian Thomas, who leads shopper and food-to-go insights at IGD. “Similar principles apply to the forecourt channel, where the added need to encourage dwell-time among shoppers will grow in importance as the factors influencing where and how people stop on the road shift.”

IGD forecasted that prepared foods will reach 23.4 billion pounds ($28.4 billion) by 2024, up from £18.5 billion this year. That’s a 26.4% bump, well ahead of the 12.5% increase predicted for the overall food and grocery retail market in the United Kingdom. Forecourts and convenience stores, as well as other retailers, will experience a 5.4% jump annually, with sales rising from £2.9 billion in 2019 to £3.8 billion in 2024, according to IGD.

"Consumer expectations around convenience and forecourt food-to-go are rising fast, creating an opportunity for businesses to invest and upgrade, or else risk getting left behind,” she said. “The good news here is that there’s lots of growth to go for, and in many locations, there remains opportunity to do more to meet these evolving shopper needs. … The gap will continue to grow between those businesses who are actively targeting food-to-go growth and those who simply want a presence in the channel. Opportunities remain, however, for those with clearly defined and relevant strategies."