Independent convenience stores’ spurt in food-to-go contributed to overall growth of the occasion in the last 12 weeks, states a recent report.

According to a report by wholesale experts TWC Group, in partnership with food-to-go and out-of-home tracking programme MealTrak, independent convenience stores contributed to total food-to-go occasion’s growth of 4 per cent in the latest 12 weeks.

The growth was driven by the discounters (+27 per cent), the multiples (+10 per cent), independent convenience stores (+10 per cent), high street (+7 per cent) and fast food & takeaways (+6 per cent).

Meanwhile, forecourts (-13 per cent), transportation sites (-8 per cent), sandwich shops and specialists (-4 per cent) and coffee shops and cafés (-1 per cent) were all in decline, and workplace was static. Value sales increased +7 per cent on a 52 week/MAT basis; and +9 per cent on a 12-week ending basis versus 2022.

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said that it is really encouraging to see out of home eating occasions back in growth this period, not just in value but also in terms of the number of occasions, which were up +4 per cent in the latest 12 weeks (vs. year ago).

“Encouragingly, independent convenience stores are one of the star performers in the latest data, with 12 week ending growth of +10 per cent, which is in line with the multiples, who have been outperforming the market for some time.

“The winning missions continue to be ‘something quick and easy’ and ‘regular favourite’, suggesting consumers want ease and are not willing to take risks (‘something different’ remains in strong decline). Meanwhile, ‘something inexpensive’ remains in year-on-year growth but is not driving the market to the extent it was a few months ago. A shift away from the sector being entirely value driven can only be a good thing for suppliers and operators and aligns with the gradual improvement in consumer confidence (as reported by GFK).”

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