Food-to-go sector to be worth £23.5bn by 2022

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

The food-to-go sector will increase £6.1bn in value over the next five years, according to IGD
The food-to-go sector will increase £6.1bn in value over the next five years, according to IGD

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The UK food-to-go market will be worth £23.5bn by 2022, according to grocery think-tank IGD.

The sector’s value will increase £6.1bn over the next five years, up from £17.4bn this year, IGD said. Food-to-go specialists – including high street baker Greggs and sandwich maker Subway – would see the biggest rise in value (see chart below), after rapid range and innovation development, it added.

IGD senior insight manager Gavin Rothwell said: “Food-to-go specialists are really setting the pace on product innovation and range development, as well as expanding quite rapidly outside London, which is why we’re forecasting them to become the biggest part of the food-to-go market by the end of 2022.

‘Innovative product development’

“We’re seeing some highly innovative product and menu development, much of this inspired by shopper trends towards health and wellness and global flavours and tastes.

“Many operators are looking to tempt shoppers with ranges tailored to different times of day, while also improving the quality of their fresh food and coffee offers.”

Food-to-go specialists would overtake quick-service restaurants as the biggest part of the market by 2022, IGD predicted. But, the quick-service restaurant sector was still expected to grow £900M in value over the next five years.

“Many quick-service restaurant chains are updating their menus and reinventing the in-store experience to bring in more technology, creating a more premium look and feel to appeal to younger consumers,”​ said Rothwell.

“There are also many newer players emerging and expanding across the UK in this segment.”

A growing opportunity

The market segments were expected to cross-over more by 2022, the grocery think-tank said.

Rothwell said: “It’s common for shoppers to visit more than one store to complete their food-to-go shop, especially at breakfast but also throughout the day.

“Suppliers to the food-to-go sector therefore have a great opportunity to work closely with retailers and specialists to create winning ranges that will ultimately meet more shoppers’ needs, making their lives easier.”

Meanwhile, in June, IGD highlighted the opportunity for food manufacturers to exploit the growing demand for food-to-go products​ from millennials.

IGD 2022 food-to-go segment value forecasts

  • Food-to-go specialists – £7.7bn
  • Quick service restaurants – £6.3bn
  • Coffee specialists – £4.2bn
  • Convenience, forecourt and other retailers – £3.6bn
  • Supermarkets and hypermarkets – £1.7bn

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