Hot or not?

Thinking of introducing hot food to go to your store? Pies, pasties and micro snacks could be a good way to start.

THE food-to-go market is something c-store operators can’t ignore as today’s consumers take convenience for granted and shun conventional meals in favour of quick-bite options.

Deli Sante Sausge rolls
DeliSanté’s products, including its Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls (above) come in packs of six.

That’s the view of one major British pastry products supplier, DeliSante which it says is backed by research into the eating habits of 18 to 30 year-olds.

The study, carried out for catering firm Elior UK, suggested members of the ‘millennials’ generation often skip breakfast, are habitual snackers and despite intending to eat healthily, often prefer sausages, bacon and burgers over salads and fruit.

“It’s with this in mind that we launched our range of premium, hand-held snacks into the deli department of Costco depots this summer,” said DeliSante’s co-owner Charles Coleman. “The Beef and Onion Pasty, Cheddar & Smoked Bacon Wrap and Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls are perfect for food on the go, yet meet the growing consumer demand for tasty and satisfying snacks which are also made from quality ingredients.

Deli Sante wrap

“They fulfil the needs of forward-thinking retailers wanting to offer premium, hot food to go on which to make good margin. Retailers who haven’t already developed their offer to meet the growing out-of-home market, particularly those in busy areas – perhaps close to colleges and offices – should think about overhauling their offer to include both hot and cold options both for breakfast and lunch, even creating their own meal-deals with hot or cold drinks and bagged snacks.”

For retailers looking to introduce hot food to their stores, Kepak Convenience Foods recommends its branded Hot Snack Station microwave and stand, which the firm says has been shown to boost sales by 280%.

“It’s ideal placed next to the chiller and we also have a range of ‘Heat It Up Here’ PoS including posters and wobblers to communicate to shoppers that they can heat products up after purchasing,” said marketing director John Armstrong.

Kepak microwave
The Kepak branded microwave (right) costs £140 plus VAT.

The Hot Snack Station is pre-programmed to cook several Rustlers lines, can cook any hot food-to-go products and comes with a built-in bin.

For retailers looking to maximise growing demand for hot food-to-go products, Holland’s Pies recommends stocking its own Sausage Roll, made from “a secret recipe using pork and mouth-watering spices, encased in puff pastry” and microwaveable in one minute.