11 figures on food-to-go growth

The NPD Group’s latest research shows Brits prefer takeout to eating at a venue, with a growing trend towards consuming food on public transport.

20 September 2018
chainsdeliveryfast casualfood-to-gorestaurantsstatistics

  • Food-to-go is beating eating in. For the year ending July 2018, there were 4.4bn on-premise visits, a drop of 3.5%, versus 5.1bn food-to-go visits, an increase of 2%.
  • Over three years since July 2015, food-to-go visits have increased 4%.
  • For foodservice operators, there’s money to be made from food-to-go: the market has increased by £2.5bn since mid-2015, three times as fast as on-premise spend.
  • Consuming food and beverages where it has been bought represents 42% of the 11.3bn out-of-home annual foodservice visits in Britain. Food-to-go represents around 48%, while delivery covers an extra 6% and drive-through accounts for 4%.
  • These figures indicate that over half of Britain’s foodservice industry visits involve consumers carrying food and drink away from the point of purchase or getting other people to carry food and drink to bring it to them.
  • This trend could lead to increased revenue. Food-to-go prices are usually lower than sit-down consumption, with food-to-go representing 48% of total visits but only 29% of spend. That 19% gap gives an operator ample scope for increasing the average bill, according to the NPD Group.
  • Around 20% of visits result in food and beverages consumed back in the workplace or at school/college.
  • But 8% of visits see food or drink making it no further than the car – that’s the same as each Briton eating or drinking in their car 14 times a year.
  • Some 7% of people eat or drink while walking along the street or sitting in a public space such as a park.
  • More than 292m foodservice visits result in food being consumed on public transport. This could be the next big trend, says the NPD Group. It’s a small total right now at 3%, but consumption of food and drink on public transport is growing five times faster than the overall food-to-go trend.
  • Looking at day parts, food-to-go is eating into breakfast at 50% of all visits, lunch captures 48% and snacking holds 59%. Dinner is not immune to the voracious appetite of food-to-go consumers either, with 37% of all dinner visits comprising comestibles consumed on the move.


Dominic Allport, insights director with The NPD Group, said: “A generation ago, food-to-go might stretch little further than a sausage roll, a bag of chips, a cheeseburger, a sandwich or a cream bun. Today’s offerings inject innovation, portability and ease-of-consumption across a huge range of international hot and cold cuisines to create exciting meals, snacks and beverages for any time of day. There’s no doubt that foodservice operators are grasping the food-to-go opportunity by offering increasingly appetising and healthy options.”

Want to see more?

Get inspiration and support for your NPD and menu development.

• Emerging ingredients • Evidenced trends • Consumer behaviour • Cost watch • Openings • Retail launches • Interviews with innovators... See all that Food Spark has to offer by requesting a free no-obligation demo.


Add to Idea Book

"11 figures on food-to-go growth"
Choose Idea Book