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Food-to-go recovering quicker than expected

Forecasting by IGD shows that the UK food-to-go market is recovering faster than expected – that’s music to our ears.

IGD has published its latest forecasts for the UK food-to-go market, which predicts that it will return to its pre-COVID levels in the second half of 2022.

The providers of insight for the food and consumer goods industry said the sector will be worth £15.6 billion at the end of 2021, already 82.5% of its 2019 value.

The foodservice delivery market grew by almost 50% in 2020 alone. However, now, as more people return to the workplace and the high streets, the food-to-go market is on a quick road to recovery.

Flexeserve’s Customer Experience Director, Warwick Wakefield welcomes the news: “It’s great to see the food-to-go market bouncing back, and we’re on hand to help foodservice operators take full advantage of it – with our true hot-holding.”

A large 3-tier Flexeserve Zone unit hot-holding a variety of foods at end of counter in a cafe

Food-to-go’s progress in greater detail

Nicola Knight, a senior analyst for food-to-go at IGD, said: “This is a better-than-expected result. By 2026, the market will be worth £22.7bn, which is 20.5% more than 2019. This will be the outcome of five years of growth at above pre-pandemic levels, following significant contraction in 2020, and will predominantly be driven by foodservice operators.

“Quick service restaurants (QSRs), in particular, were credited for being the main driver of growth, increasing market share from 77% in 2019 to 79% in 2021. IGD cited COVID-19 restrictions playing a significant role in this, due to consumers “suffering from cooking fatigue and opting for affordable treats, which has in turn benefited ‘destination’ food-to-go sites.”

Nicola continued: “To survive and meet new demand, operators have fast-forwarded innovation at an unprecedented speed.”

This is where Flexeserve comes in

Warwick Wakefield, Customer Experience Director at Flexeserve, said: “If you’re a QSR with a delivery model – or wanting to introduce a delivery service, then with Flexeserve Hub, we’ve never been better positioned to help you.”

Revealed at the end of last year, Flexeserve Hub is designed specifically for the growing demand in food delivery. The hot-holding unit can be used both front and back-of-house and is capable of hot-holding large quantities of packaged food products, of any shape or size. This means fully made orders can be held at temperature ready for collection or delivery.

Flexeserve Hub hot-holding pizza boxes front-of-house

Warwick continued: “We’re delighted that food-to-go is bouncing back so quickly. At Flexeserve, we have long recognised the potential that the food-to-go market has, and how our true hot-holding can help unlock it. IGD’s findings predict the market will reach pre-pandemic levels in the middle of next year – and it’s going to continue to grow from there.

“Flexeserve can help food operators to capitalise on this, clearly, very strong market. Our flagship product, Flexeserve Zone has been transformational for many hot food-to-go venues, with its ability to hold foods with different temperature requirements all within the same unit, opening up all sorts of opportunities.

Flexeserve Solution graphic showing the 5 key elements of true hot-holding

“With our range of hot-holding units and Flexeserve Solution, which comprises the five key elements of true hot-holding, we can help you achieve and exceed your hot food aspirations. Working with us, you can reduce wastage, expand your food range and increase profit from your hot food operation.”

For more information about Flexeserve products and services, and how we can help your hot food-to-go, please get in touch.

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