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"Food to Go" is in massive growth - 4 things you need to know about the industry…

13 February 2019

You don’t have to be studying Nielson data to understand what’s happening around you. Whenever we step out the door we are constantly seeing new, innovative, exciting products bursting off supermarket shelves and calling out to me from the windows of food outlets.

Growth is coming - in fact, it’s already here!

But what is Food to Go?

Food to Go items include sandwiches, wraps, salads, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, sushi etc. The speed and the ease in which you can buy and consume each item are huge factors in their popularity.

Taking less than five minutes to purchase and 15 minutes to serve, food-to-go is quick, convenient and readily available on most high streets around the country.

Who are the key players?

You can break the Food to Go sector down to 5 areas as follows:

  • Food to Go specialists - Think the likes of Greggs, Subway, Pret….
  • Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) - Five Guys, KFC, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Burger King
  • Coffee Specialists - Costa, Starbucks, Nero
  • Convenience, Forecourt & High Street Retailers - Boot’s, Spar, Nisa
  • Supermarkets - Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Co-Op, Waitrose

Notice all the street food vendors popping up all over the place these days? Yes, that’s Food to Go too and over 2.5m people are eating street food every day.

So, this is where you can buy the products but who’s making it? Well the usual suspects in Food Manufacturing are well engrossed in this area; Greencore, Samworth Brothers, Adelie and the rest…. But there are huge amount of smaller upcoming food manufacturers throughout the UK and this is where the real growth can be seen and where great opportunity lies.

What does the future hold?

With the fast pace of modern life showing no sign of letting up, the demand for quick and easy food solutions will only grow.

With the choice and flavours on offer continuing to grow, it seems there is no end of options on the table for hungry consumers looking for a speedy lunch.

Latest data from IGD says the sector is due to be worth £23.5bn by 2022, making Food to Go the fastest growing category in the UK food industry.

Expect to see heavy investment in NPD and greater variety of branded and own label products ending up on the shelves of Foodservice Outlets, Grocers and Retailers

How can I be part of it?

With growth brings opportunity - SME’s and major manufacturers are seeking to increase their offering of Food to Go products. This naturally creates jobs across Sales, Marketing and NPD.

This is an exciting, fast paced environment well suited to those passionate about the food industry with true career development ambitions.

With specialist recruiters in the food industry our recruiters are naturally keen to speak with those interested in exploring Food to Go further. Feel free to reach out for a confidential chat about current and future opportunities.

Don’t get left behind.


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