Now is the time to embrace the food to go opportunity, says Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) has unveiled research that highlights why convenience retailers need to step up and grab hold of their share of the food to go opportunity.

The company has highlighted research that reveals that by encouraging shoppers to choose a soft drink with their meals and snacks, retailers could unlock £215M[i] of value.

“We know that by focusing on the growing number of shoppers looking for drinks with their food, and making a few simple changes, convenience retailers can increase their soft drinks sales by focusing on the growing number of shoppers looking to grab-and-go a food and drink offering,” said Matt Gouldsmith, Channel Director for Wholesale at Lucozade Ribena Suntory.

“There is an opportunity for retailers to take advantage of the almost one billion out-of-home eating opportunities that happen each year. Stocking a wide range of interesting and complementary soft drink flavours will encourage consumers to choose a soft drink with their meals and snacks,” he added.

The company’s research reveals there is an opportunity to grow the total soft drinks category by £1.4BN, of which the With Food opportunity is worth £215M, and £35.1M specifically in the convenience channel.

LRS’s in-depth research involved working with global consultancy The Partnering Group to analyse 10 emerging and continuing consumer trends such as health and wellbeing. They helped reveal that:

  • Food-to-go in the convenience channel is expected to grow +4.9% to 2023[ii]
  • 13% of convenience shoppers are on a food to go mission[iii]
  • An additional 98 million lunches were carried out the home in 2018 vs prior year[iv]

The research shows that to drive the With Food opportunity, retailers need to help shoppers on this mission buy drinks from categories like flavoured carbonates, juices and juice drinks – such as Ribena, Ribena Frusion and Lucozade Energy – and tea infusions, water and squash on four more trips per year.

“The main components of a food to go shopper’s basket are carbonated soft drinks, sandwiches, single bags of crisps and bakery items[v] so these categories should be the building blocks of meal deals offered in store. Secondary sites for these categories – for example a small crisps fixture attached to the chiller – will help to drive cross-category spend and point shoppers towards the meal deal opportunity,” said Gouldsmith.

Recent project work undertaken by LRS saw sandwich sales grow in some stores by as much as 86%[vi] when meal deal solutions were introduced and highlighted using simple communication tools, helping to make the fixture easy to shop for those on the meal deal mission.

“There is opportunity to grow the ‘With Food’ occasion in convenience stores, particularly at lunchtimes where 51% buy food but no soft drink. As we have seen consistently, considering meal deal opportunities can help drive total sales,” added Gouldsmith.

[i] Lucozade Ribena Suntory and The Partnership Group research, Dec 2018

[ii] IGD UK Food-to-go market 2018 (Aug 2018)

[iii] HIM 2018: The Food-to-Go Opportunity

[iv] KWP Usage: Total in home and carried out foods 52 w/e December 2018

[v] HIM CTP 2018

[vi] LRS Academy In Action in-store project work, 2019