Salads, street food, crepes, cafes, burgers, brasseries the choices go on with food to go. Opinion states that food to go is one of the most dynamic and fast moving sectors in the UK’s eating out industry, still with room for growth, so ask yourself; are you doing enough to exploit this opportunity?
It’s my opinion that consumers are ever more demanding in their expectations; they want fresh, real, fast, innovative, variety and quality; fantastic food as a way of life. The combination of technology feeding consumers with all the data they could wish for, and greater expectations of what quality and variety is expected, I believe delivers a very interesting mix, which is equally challenging and rewarding.
I have a growing belief that compromising eating well whilst on the go isn’t accepted, you can see from the vast array of tasty products on offer, we are all consuming more on the go, and this isn’t restricted to any given meal or snack time.
You can find tasty wholesome porridges, to nourishing hearty soups or nutritious salads right through to delicious freshly prepared meals without searching too far, and that’s without mentioning the thirst quenching array of juice and smoothie bars; it’s all going on!
We can look to how Pret have decided that Veggie Pret is here to stay, or how Amazon have launched their 1-hour restaurant delivery service to selected postcodes in London for pointers to affirm that this is an exciting time. I believe the winners will be those who show leadership in their field; bringing firsts to their markets.
More and more we are seeing that pubs and inns joining in on the ‘food to go’ movement; allowing guests to enjoy classic pub food in the comfort of their own home – without even having to turn the oven on, which presents a huge opportunity; not being restricted to the number of covers in your venue, this can bring about revolutionary change to your hospitality business.
I recently carried out some research into ‘Millennials’, and given they make up approx. a quarter of the UK Population, and are predicted to hit the 17 million mark by 2019, and by 2020 Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, understanding their eating trends is essential to tap into this growing market more effectively, and discover what part they play food to go and hospitality.
Millennials are open and receptive to new cuisines, styles of cooking, products and brands. Food and drink has never played such an important role in the culture of the nation as it has in their lifetime. Consequently, Millennials are looking to be inspired with the new, the novel and the authentically different and given food trends tend to trickle ‘up’ the generational ladder; what Millennials want in food today is what we will all be asking for soon.
Lunch is the most popular food-to go mission, with approx. 70% of the UK adult population having bought something for lunch on-the-go in the last month, the majority bought a sandwich or wrap as part of their lunch, however the wide range of other products and categories which feature in the lunch mission reflect the diverse nature of the mission, these included; Salads, Hot Food, Savoury Snacks, Pies, Pasties, Sausage Rolls and Soft drinks, cakes and pastries.
The other key ‘food to go’ missions include; Breakfast, drink, snacks and leisure, your opportunity to create further prospects with food-to-go is to increase the relevance of what you are offering beyond specific meal occasions and times.
The coming years will be extremely interesting as we see the growth and innovation upscale. As with any industry and sector it’s about listening to the consumer, carrying out the research, being proactive and constantly striving to not only satisfy, but exceed the expectations of your customer.