Greggs is now making the food on-the-go sector appetising - here's how

Stephan Shakespeare
Follow Stephan
An employee of Greggs bakery holds a pas
Greggs has introduced a series of healthier options into stores (Source: Getty)

The food on-the-go market is set to grow over the next year; a new YouGov report on the industry indicates how brands can capitalise on this potential. One brand – Greggs – is showing the way.

The food on-the-go industry is worth billions, and is set to grow further in the coming years. Our new food on the go reports indicates that over a quarter (26 per cent) say they didn’t buy food on the go a year ago but are now doing so. With Britons getting used to eating ‘al desko’, it’s important for brands to position themselves correctly in order to cater to evolving consumer dining habits.

Read more: Greggs d-eclaired a healthy hospital choice

YouGov’s brand tracking data shows one brand that has seen particular success in this is Greggs, which has adopted a strategy that challenges consumer assumptions. Traditionally known for its range of pasties and other baked goods, it has introduced a series of healthier options into stores.

Its impression score – whether someone has a positive or negative impression of the brand – has improved. Indeed, the data shows a notable jump of over six points in the days following the release of the calorie conscious snack. One of the key aspects of Greggs’ success is that it is able to offer its customers variety and price.

Read more: Strong results for Greggs as it brushes off the crumbs of Brexit

This is crucial for two reasons. Firstly our reports shows that there is still a large group of consumers falling out of love with food on the go.

The data indicates that a fifth (21 per cent) are buying less that they did a year ago. Of this group, over four in 10 say they did so to save money, while a quarter say they were motivated by a change of diet. Secondly, there is a concerted effort from over half of the public to eat healthily; our data indicated that 58 per cent make an effort to get their five-a-day (compared with 33 per cent that don’t).

One last lesson for other food on-the-go brands is to adapt to customers that want a healthy option, without neglecting their core offering. Greggs has been able to retain customers that love what it has stood for in the past, while managing to satisfy those whose tastes have changed.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles