5 Food to Go Insights from Our Trip to London
Want to know what’s trending in Food to Go retail right now? Our design team flew to London last week for a whistle-stop tour of the UK’s most innovative food retailers to find out. The tour was focused on Food to Go, a space that’s rapidly innovating and packed with potential. Read on for our teams top Food to Go insights from the trip.
Across the board, consumers are demanding more honesty from brands and the Food to Go space is no exception. Consumers want to know that a brand has a conscience and they have really taken to brands that show them they care. For example, it’s not uncommon for someone to switch their regular coffee haunt in favour of one that offers compostable cups or a reusable cup discount. All of the best in class brands we saw in London had one thing in common – they are open about their processes and ingredients. It seems that when it comes to food, honesty really is the best policy.
Bigger retailers are seeing the attention that smaller, more niche food retailers are getting from consumers and understandably, they want a slice of the pie. Instead of trying to navigate new territories, they’re partnering with the experts in those areas. For example, retail giant Sainsbury’s recently partnered with the smaller but established brand Sushi Gourmet. Bringing a brand like Sushi Gourmet in-store allows Sainsbury’s to explore another offering without the hassle of creating it themselves. Sitting those brands beside your own brand offering not only gives your own offering more credibility, it gives your customers more choice too.
Often retailers venturing into the Food to Go area will aim to own the lunchtime rush. While lunch will always be a lucrative market, we’re now seeing huge growth in the breakfast space. Customers are looking for alternative options and there’s a lot of scope to branch out. In PRET, we saw the popularity of options like chia pudding and overnight oats. Utilising the same containers as lunchtime protein pots, these options offer consumers a healthy grab-and-go breakfast. While there’s certainly still a place for the sausage sambo, you’ve got to consider healthy options too.
Vegan and Veggie Options
There has been a rise in the number of vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians over the last few years and these consumers are voting with their feet. Across the board, we’re seeing an increase in vegan and veggie options in stores and it’s definitely a trend to watch. We’re also seeing a rise in specialist vegan only or veggie only retailers.
Treat Yo’ Self
While we are becoming more health conscious than ever, people are also aware of the need for balance. In the Food to Go space this means we’re seeing an increase in the number of options to capitalise on those ‘cheat day’ moments. It’s all about balance.
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