Ahead of her keynote session later this month, lunch! talks to Fiona Speakman, client director within CGA’s food & retail team. She’ll be exploring some of the key movements in the food-to-go sector, including the role of delivery and the rise of coffee shops.

What do you see as key trends for food-to-go in the coming year?

Food-to-go is becoming ever more popular but what consumers are going to be looking for is delicious food on the go, which is also healthy. With 66% of consumers (CGA BrandTrack) proactively trying to lead a healthy lifestyle only offering the standard fare won’t be enough as consumers look for more choice.

In terms of changes in the market, various differing approaches to drive opportunities to sell more will further blur the lines between different offers in the market. For example, sites opening later where the offer has traditionally been solely open in the day will increase choice to consumers but competition at the same time. A secondary area of change in this area will be operators managing the impact of the new legislation on allergens and the requirement for full allergen and ingredient labelling going forward as increased information requirements become more established in this area of the market.

Additionally, sustainability will also feature increasingly in consumers' decision-making process and with consumers focussed on ethical issues, such as sustainable sourcing of ingredients and sustainable packaging, suppliers and operators will need to rise to this challenge.

What do you think is the key for operators to successfully compete against their competitors?

As much insight as possible on the market and how consumers are responding to it, knowing this really helps drive the best offer. As well as having great knowledge, having a clear proposition is so important – and an offer that offers value for money – but this doesn’t mean cheap. Consumers expectations are higher than they have ever been but they are prepared to pay if they believe in the quality on offer.

How important is lunch! show to the food-to-go sector?

lunch! Is a great way to learn about the latest products but also to get key information and really see what’s going on in the market and beyond – it’s a brilliant opportunity to take a look around and take stock – as well as offering a key forum for lots of different people to meet and share ideas.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect is supporting clients to make informed strategic decisions and knowing that we at CGA have played a part in helping them to direct their business in the market. It’s so satisfying to work with clients in this way, understand their needs and see the tangible changes made as a result of specific actionable insights driven by CGA data.

And the most challenging?

The most challenging aspect is making sure that the value of data & insights is understood and conveying the impact that this data can have on a situation to drive actionable business decisions.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given is to always put yourself in other people’s shoes, it enables you to see the world from their perspective and that can be invaluable when trying to understand people’s perspective in many different situations.

See Fiona at lunch! 2019

The Changing Face of the Food-to-go Market: 11.45am on Friday 20 September in Keynote Theatre 3

To register for a free trade ticket, please click here.

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