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%

The 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.

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%.

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’.

There’s a continued increase in products associated with lunchtime ‘meal deals’ (crisps, nuts, popcorn, sandwiches and drinks) and 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 £5bn 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’.

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