Food-to-Go Summit shows sector is thriving in Ireland

Irish people have taken strongly to the new era of food-to-go, which 72% purchasing regularly
Irish people have taken strongly to the new era of food-to-go, which 72% are purchasing regularly

We have seen it in almost every new and revamped store visited in recent years, but the pivot towards food-to-go in Ireland's convenience sector is stronger than ever, according to new research by Kepak.

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21 May 2019 | 0

There was a time in Ireland’s convenience stores and forecourts that customer choice would amount to a breakfast roll or a ham-salad sandwich, but recent years have seen massive changes in the offering, and in some cases massive changes in how the stores do business. Fresh, high-quality food-to-go is a cornerstone of convenience now, and new research from Kepak has confirmed that the market is thriving. 99% of adults in Ireland have purchased food and drinks to-go, while 72% of adults do so regularly.

The demand is considerably higher than in the UK, where 60% of adults regularly purchase food and drinks on-the-go.

Some other findings from Kepak’s report, conducted by Coyne and co-funded by Bord Bia, also show that 54% of people who make such purchases believe food-to-go helps them to lead ‘fuller lives’ and have more ‘engaging experiences’, with a further 19% buying for ‘health and wellbeing’ purposes.

According to the research, a total of 62% consider hot, on-the-go beverages an indulgence, while 27% admit they need them to ‘survive’ as they lead their busy lives.

The new statistics were published ahead of Kepak’s Food-to-Go Summit, which takes place in Dublin this week, examining the future of the growing and evoplving segment among convenience stores, supermarkets and forecourt stores.

The total size of the Food-To-Go segment (Island of Ireland) in 2018 was €458 million in terms of consumer spending. The 2019-2022 forecasted growth for consumer spending is expected to be 5.2%.

Blathnaid Ni Fhatharta, marketing director for foodservice and corporate communications at Kepak, said the research reveals Ireland to be one of the leading markets in Europe in this area.

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