Food to Go is Going Places
Salads, street food, crepes, cafes, burgers, wraps - the choices go on, with food-to-go certainly going places. Unsurprisingly, food-to-go is one of the most dynamic and fast moving sectors in the UK’s eating out industry.
We are now ever more demanding in our expectations; we want fresh, real, fast, innovative, variety and quality; fantastic food as a way of life. Compromising eating well whilst on the go isn’t acceptable, 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. We can find tasty wholesome porridge’s, 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.
High Street innovator Pret have decided that Veggie Pret is here to stay, and Amazon have launched their 1-hour restaurant delivery service to selected postcodes in London, all pointers to affirm that this is an exciting food time. 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 – unfortunately, without even having to turn the oven on.
‘Millennials’- those born in the early 1980's (like my daughter), 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 and what part they play in food. My daughter and her partner 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 - I have witnessed it in my 'foodie' daughter. Consequently, Millennials are looking to be inspired with the new, the novel and the authentically different and these food trends tend to trickle ‘up’ the generational ladder; what Millennials want in food today, is what oldies, like me, will be asking for soon after.
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 'food-to-go' fad, 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, drinks, and snacks.
The coming years will be extremely interesting as we see the growth and the innovation in eating habits. As with any industry and sector, the food industry needs to listen to the customer, carry out research, and be proactive, constantly striving to not only satisfy, but exceed the expectations of us all in the food we want to eat on-the-go!