The grocery Food to Go market — the home of the famous supermarket meal deal — will grow considerably during the current inflationary period and beyond, according to senior food-to-go analyst at IGD, Nicola Knight.
While the supermarket Food to Go sector was sidelined by consumers during the Covid pandemic in favour of more gourmet takeaway treats and home cooking, it has bounced back, with a prediction to have grown 3% from its pre-pandemic levels at a sturdy £18.9bn. By 2027, it is forecasted to rise by 26% to reach £23.4bn.
The source of this growth, according to Ms Knight, is a dual effect of inflation and the looming cost-of-living crisis. Firstly, inflationary pressures will bring the price of grocery food-to-go deals up, increasing returns. On top of that, some consumers may move away from more expensive Food to Go options and turn to supermarket meal deals instead. However, meal deals are an expensive option for many consumers as it is, and this is unlikely to be a widespread phenomenon.
"The next 18 months will be a challenging period for the sector, mainly for coffee and food-to-go specialists, as operators attempt to balance rising costs with helping consumers to save money," said Ms Knight.