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Food to go & the growth on the market

In today’s modern society people are a lot busier than they were generations ago, people have less time to take part in their hobbies, spend time with their family and even eat. In many households it is rare that a family will come together every night for a family meal, where food has been long prepared and everybody indulges in conversation of how their day was. Furthermore, while at work it is also becoming less common for people to bring a pre-packed meal, as getting food from a shop near their place of work is what many people opt to do now, as it is easier and many people also believe it is quicker.

The food to go market has continued to be on an exponential rise, with financial experts estimating the sector will be worth £23.5 billion in 2022, with its current worth being £17.4 billion, which clearly shows no signs of people eating habits slowing down anytime soon. This is currently one of the most lucrative markets in the UK, and also all around the world. From a consumer standpoint it is far easier to get food on the go rather than prepare food at home, although more expensive to eat out, with the vast array of options and nicer foods so easily accessible it is clear why many people choose to get food on the go, as time is precious in today’s fast-moving society.

This modern ‘food to go society’ has made even the biggest retailers such as Tesco have to adapt to keep its market share and steady stream of income. Tesco are now prioritising the expansion of their ‘Tesco Express’ stores to suit modern day eating habits. This shows a trend of how a lot of similar retailers will look toward the future, with a priority of food made available quick, substantial, hot and easy.

Even the director of foodservice at Waitrose, Simon Burdess, openly said times are currently tough for many big franchises of food retailers as people are becoming very unconventional in the way they eat. With this trend showing no chance of slowing down companies investing in food to go will seem to prosper in 2019 and onwards, as people’s eating habits will continue to change and follow how society is also changing.

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Forecourt shop

Shopping habits and why people rarely do a weekly shop now

In today’s modern, fast moving and ever evolving world people are now looking for things quicker and more on the go than ever. Over the years the current generation of adults has become busier than the last and more concerned with using their time efficiently, often not doing things the previous generation would as it is too time consuming, such as the weekly shop.

In recent years there has been a rapid decline in the amount of people who do one shop a week for all their food needs, as according to The Guardian 66% of people go into a food store more than once a day. The sort of ‘grab and go’ attitude is what many modern adults do as it is clearly on the rise, but this doesn’t come without any downsides. The subsequent result of this style of shopping and eating can actually be more expensive without you realising, as you are less aware of the price on a day to day bases when only buying small items, which can add up over time.

Also when you are not planning for a week of eating, this can often lead to it being harder to follow a diet or eat healthy as if you are looking to buy your meals on a near daily basis, often people think short term and do not allow themselves to think long term of what food they’re consuming, as if you are shopping do the short term it is hard to sustain a healthy, balanced diet. And with many supermarkets open for around 18 hours or more a day, it has never been more convenient to pop in before, during or after work.

With people’s lives and mind-sets changing, so are the supermarkets. Many top tier supermarket brands like Tesco and Waitrose are now focusing on more convenient stores, as many big brands of food retailers are expanding to smaller 24-hour convenience stores. This is to tailor to people buying less but more often, which is starting to become more of a normal shopping pattern in today’s society, as the weekly shop may soon become a thing of the past.