Wholesale experts TWC, in partnership with food-to-go and out-of-home tracking programme MealTrak, reports the latest food-to-go market performance to 12 w/e 8 August 2022.

Latest results are as follows:

Latest 52 weeks 52 weeks year ago (comparable period) 52 weeks YOY change Latest 12 weeks 12 weeks year ago (comparable period) 12 weeks YOY change
Total out of home GB occasions 3.682bn 3.251bn +13% 814mn 772mn +5%
Total out of home GB Value £21.2bn £16.9bn +25% £4.9bn £4.2n +15%

OCCASIONS:

  • Latest MealTrak results show the number of out-of-home eating occasions were 13% higher than the comparable period in 2021 on a 52 week/MAT basis.
  • In the latest 12-week, the number of out-of-home eating occasions were 5% higher than in 2021. There were 814 million eating out of home occasions in the 12 w/e 8 August 2022.
  • In the last 12 weeks, the ‘eating out’ channel (comprising pubs, restaurants and hotels) was in strong growth, +19% vs previous year. However, the growth rate has slowed significantly since last month (when 12 w/e growth was +42%). Growth in ‘eating out’ is driven by and pubs +31% and restaurants +16%. Hotels meanwhile were in decline -16%.
  • Sandwich shops (-11%), coffee shops/cafes (-7%), fast food & takeaway (-12%), high street (-17%) and transportation (-39%) are all in decline.
  • Forecourts are rebounding well – with a +29% increase in occasions in the latest 12 weeks compared to 2021. Convenience stores are also in growth in the last 12 weeks, at +8%.

VALUE:

  • Value sales are up +25% on a 52 week/MAT basis and +15% on a 12 week ending basis versus 2021. Value growth exceeds occasions growth due to inflation.
  • Sub-channels driving growth (last 12 weeks vs 2021) are predominantly ‘eating out’ venues, namely restaurants (+24%) and pubs (+32%).

CATEGORIES and MISSIONS

  • The mission ‘to treat’ (which was so strong during the pandemic) is now clearly giving way to the need ‘to cut costs’ and for ‘speed’ (employees going back to work) and for ‘something that will be filling’.
  • We are still seeing an increase in products associated with lunchtime ‘meal deals’ (crisps, nuts, popcorn, sandwiches and drinks).
  • Almost 50% of occasions are for ‘sharing’.

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:

“Spend on out of home consumption reached almost £5 billion in the 12 weeks ending 8 August 2022, representing growth of +12% vs the same period in 2021. Value growth is significantly outstripping growth in terms of the number of occasions as inflation takes hold.”

“We are seeing treating as a mission falling back in importance, with a focus on value very evident through increases in ‘inexpensive’, ‘quick and easy’ and ‘filling’. In line with this, we are seeing strong performance in categories associated with ‘meal deals’ such as crisps, nuts, popcorn, sandwiches and drinks.”

“The challenge for food to go and eating out of home specialists will be how to ensure they retain their share of the market. During Covid, we saw many retailers reduce their food to go ranges, but maybe now is the time to consider expansion once more as food to go is generally more resilient through tough economic times due to its lower price point than more formal dining occasions, acting as something of an ‘affordable treat’.

For more information on Mealtrak please contact Kim Reddick at TWC (Kim@twcgroup.net)