Future Proofing the Food-to-Go Industry

February 15, 2018

Impact’s insights from the Food-To-Go Conference 2018


Food-to-Go has out-performed the wider market in recent years, and while this continued to be the case in 2017, the last twelve months or so has seen a number of challenges that have threatened to curtail its strong growth.

At the Food-to-Go Conference which we attended recently, we saw a number of papers highlight that whilst growth may slow in the run-up to 2020 there are a number of ways that brands can help to protect their future growth prospects: 



  • Healthier eating: this will continue to take on more and more relevance to the consumer, from an increased demand for fresh, real and wholesome ingredients, through to the ever-growing importance of vegetarian and vegan as evidence by the success of Veganuary in 2018. Leveraging the nutritional benefits, in conjunction with the quality and taste of your products will help to optimise potential in both Food-to-Go and beyond.

  • Value: As the price of raw ingredients continues to increase, coupled with a continued decline in wages in real terms, the issue of affordability takes on an even greater prominence with the consumer. The use of promotions and offers - including those delivered via a loyalty programme - can help, but obviously it is a fine balancing act to deliver a price that works for you and the customer.

  • Customisable: We saw a number of examples of brands that were tailoring their offer to great effect to strengthen their relationship with the customer, improving profitability and reducing wastage. These ranged from the rewards offered to different customer typologies through the Greggs app, to the tech led convenience of Vita Mojo where 92% of customers personalise their meal. While bespoke may not be a solution for all at present, those already harnessing the opportunities are reaping the rewards.



Alongside this there were debates on how to best energise and nurture staff as the face of the brand, and the increasing importance of CSR, with particular discussions around the role of recycling whether this be plastic free aisles or recycling coffee cups and coffee grounds. Again, brands that are pro-active on these fronts are likely to reap the maximum rewards by demonstrating their active listening abilities to the demands of the customer base.

Impact is a full-service market research consultancy, providing customised solutions. We operate globally and are research specialists in food, drink and nutrition. To find out more about our work please visit our website or contact Stuart Grant, Head of Impact Consumer, on info@impactmr.com


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