When we want something most of us want it now, especially food at lunch or a weekday after work.  Convenience food is coming to our rescue.

Food to go is just one of the most popular convenience food phrases being used at present, and is a channel that is predicted to grow.

Both retail brands and supermarkets are exploiting this to their advantage. A recent survey found that 72% of the UK population prefer Costa to other coffee brands.  This is no surprise though as they really are accessible everywhere in the UK.  Not only do they have stand-alone stores and free standing concessions, they have express points that are incorporated into most convenience stores including express supermarkets and petrol stations. One might suggest that there is a positive correlation between accessibility and perceived attractiveness of a brand?

As shoppers we want any solution that solve our problems – what to eat for lunch or dinner is a daily strain with a third going into stores not having any idea of what to purchase.

Ginsters have recognised this and responded with a solution to such demand. They have too recognised that shoppers often have limited time at lunch and often pop into convenience stores to grab something. They also recognised that coffee on the go was very popular, and so decided to insert booths next to Costa in express stores and petrol stations.  Within a short time period, they were enjoying a 42% growth rate in sales.

Burton’s biscuits are again another brand thinking carefully and responding to convenience retail demand.  They carefully analyse stores and demographics within regions and supply accordingly.  For example shops with a nearby school often have more children’s ranges in store, and again they too have experienced significant growth.

It isn’t just brands that are responding to this either. Supermarkets such as Waitrose have introduced a ‘Food to Go’ line, providing perfectly matched options for dinner – what a dream to just walk in, not have to think and pick up to purchase, simple hey? This notion seems set to continue with more shoppers wanting everything at the touch of a fingertip, not just food and drink.

Will we see an increase of ranges from other categories such as health, beauty and cosmetics into convenience stores?  Is this the time for retailers to look at this carefully in order to exploit a first mover advantage, and significant growth as experienced by others?  We think so.

Discover our retail innovation strategy here that could be the start of the convenience food journey.  Allow us to support you in finding out exactly what influences your shopper’s purchasing patterns, providing fresh inspiration to your sales strategies and instore experiences.

Nikita Lewis

Business Development Manager