£1.6bn market north of the border but Scotland lags behind rest of GB market, researcher finds
FOOD-to-go sales are growing and the market is expected to be worth £1.6bn in Scotland this year, research specialist Kantar Worldpanel says.
But there is still room for significant further growth, sales in Scotland are below rates in Great Britain as a whole and although symbol and independent stores take a larger share in Scotland than is the case in GB overall they still account for less than £1 in every £20 spent.
Kantar found that food to go makes up 41% of out-of-home food and drink sales. The biggest-selling items are hot beverages, which account for 35% of food-to-go sales value, sandwiches with 24% of sales, and soft drinks with 15%.
Kantar says 92% of Scottish individuals buy some form of food to go in each four-week period. Those that do, average 10 purchases in such periods, spending, on average, £28.54. But that is more than £3.50 less than the GB average.
So, says Kantar, Scottish retailers and food operators could realise £15m extra revenue every four weeks if they could increase sales to match the GB average.
Food to go sells mostly through bakery, sandwich and coffee shops, which takes 56% of sales.
In Scotland bakery and sandwich outlets are particularly strong with sales share that is 1.4 times the GB average.
Symbol and independent stores in Scotland achieve a greater share of sales than in Great Britain as a whole, but they still only account for 4.4% of food-to-go revenue.
Food-to-go shoppers in Scotland are also more likely to be male than is the case in GB overall. North of the border males account for 61% of food-to-go sales.
In general, says Kantar, food to go has performed strongly in recent years, providing affordable treats for people with busy lives. It expects demand for quick, hot food to grow. One challenge will be to persuade consumers who are more confident about their finances to buy premium treats.