2022
9
UK Lunchtime Foods In Retail Market Report 2022
2022-02-23T03:14:23+00:00
OX1105449
2195
148164
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Report
en_GB
“The easing of COVID-19 restrictions from summer 2021 has enabled lunchtime foods in retail to begin to recover from the significant blow that the pandemic dealt on them. Whilst the…

UK Lunchtime Foods In Retail Market Report 2022

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

The UK Lunchtime Foods In Retail report identifies consumer attitudes towards usage of lunchtime foods industry, types of foods eaten, barriers to more frequent use, and retail channels for buying lunch in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Lunchtime Foods In Retail market in the UK.

Current Market Landscape

Hybrid and at-home workers represent a new opportunity for the lunchtime foods market going forward.

  • 28% of those working mainly/entirely at home and 31% working a mix of at-home and out-of-home locations eat lunchtime foods bought in retail at least three times a week.
  • 65% of people who eat and buy lunchtime foods from retail say it is important that these help them reach this goal.
  • 18% of people ate lunchtime foods from retail at least three times a week in the three months to December 2021.

Inflationary pressures are mounting in 2022. These will prompt some people to scrutinise discretionary purchases such as lunchtime foods from retail more closely, cutting back or trading down in order to save money. However, their relative affordability should see these win over some users and occasions from their foodservice counterparts.

Future Market Trends in Lunchtime Foods In Retail 

This income squeeze is escalating the competitive pressure that prepared lunchtime foods bought in retail face from home-cooked lunches. Cooking skills and flexible working arrangements gained during the pandemic have made this a more pressing threat and will continue to do so even once real household incomes rebound.

The five-a-day proposition remains a key means for the market to drive engagement. Continuing to mine this established element would tap into the heightened long-term focus on health while spotlighting these foods as a convenient way to support such key health goals will boost their value proposition.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Food and Foodservice market research

Quickly understand

  • Usage of lunchtime foods in retail and types eaten
  • Retail channels for buying lunch and occasions when these foods are eaten
  • Barriers to more frequent usage
  • Concepts of interest in lunchtime foods in retail
  • Consumer behaviours and attitudes related to lunchtime foods in retail

Covered in this report

Brands: Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Quorn, Deliveroo, Getir, Samworth Brothers (Urban Eat), Cranswick (The Sandwich Factory), Brakes (Country Choice), Whoosh, Chop Chop, Co-Op, Asda, Morrisons, Soupologie, Tesco, BOL, belVita, Hovis, The Yummy Tummy, Planet Organic, Pieminister, John West, Boots, Urban Remedy, Birds Eye.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Alice Pilkington, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions from summer 2021 has enabled lunchtime foods in retail to begin to recover from the significant blow that the pandemic dealt on them. Whilst the income squeeze in 2022 will push some to scrutinise these purchases more closely, longer-term opportunities lie in the at-home lunch occasion, given frequent usage among at-home and hybrid workers. Considerable interest in options that help people reach their five-a-day goal and are nutritionally rich can tap into the lasting heightened focus on health going forward.

Alice Pilkington
Food and Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The five-year outlook for lunchtime foods in retail
      • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-26
    • The market
    • Pre-packaged sandwiches hit by COVID-19 started to recover in 2021
      • Figure 2: Value sales in the UK retail pre-packaged fresh sandwiches market^, 2016-21
    • Residential retail locations will gain significance
    • Action on plastic will be crucial given focus on sustainability; flexitarian trend boosts relevance of vegetarian and plant-based ranges
    • Household incomes under pressure on several fronts in 2022
    • Companies and brands
    • Asda and Morrisons explore in-store food-to-go concepts; Co-op opens third on-the-go store
    • M&S Food and Sainsbury’s announce collaborations with foodservice brands
    • The consumer
    • Only one in five eat lunchtime foods from retail at least three times a week
      • Figure 3: Usage frequency of lunchtime foods in retail, by age, working status and household income, 2021
    • At-home and hybrid workers are neck-and-neck
      • Figure 4: Eating of lunchtime foods from retail at least three times a week, by current working location, 2021
    • At-home occasions are a big opportunity
      • Figure 5: When lunchtime foods from retail are eaten, 2021
    • Value for money is the top barrier
      • Figure 6: Barriers to eating lunchtime foods bought in retail, 2021
    • Supermarkets are most popular purchase channel; over a third buy lunchtime foods from online supermarkets
      • Figure 7: Retail channels for buying lunch, 2021
    • Pre-packed sandwiches are the top choice for lunch
      • Figure 8: Types of lunchtime foods bought in retail, 2021
    • Two thirds want lunchtime foods to help with five-a-day; ‘nutritionally complete’ messaging can chime
      • Figure 9: Behaviours related to lunchtime foods in retail, 2021
    • One in four interested in lower carb offerings
      • Figure 10: Concepts of interest in lunchtime foods in retail, 2021
    • High-protein legumes can help lunchtime foods tap meat reduction trend, also opportunities for meat substitutes
      • Figure 11: Attitudes towards lunchtime foods in retail, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Hybrid and at-home workers represent a new opportunity
    • Five-a-day and ‘nutritionally complete’ messaging can tap long-term health focus
    • High-protein legumes can help lunchtime foods respond to meat reduction trend
    • Pressure on household incomes offers potential as well as threats
  4. Market Size – Fresh Sandwiches

    • Fresh sandwich markets hit by COVID-19
    • 2021 sees fresh sandwiches start to recoup losses
      • Figure 12: Value sales in the UK retail pre-packaged fresh sandwiches market^, 2016-21
    • Hybrid and at-home workers represent a new opportunity going forward
    • Own-label dominates pre-packaged fresh sandwiches; Urban Eat leaps ahead
      • Figure 13: Leading brands’ sales and share in the UK pre-packaged fresh sandwiches retail market^, by value, 2019-21
  5. Market Drivers

    • COVID-19 fundamentally changes working habits…
    • …bringing more workday lunches to the home
    • Residential retail locations will gain significance
    • Home lunches fuel scratch cooking
    • COVID-19 fuels the growth of online shopping…
    • …and on-demand delivery services
    • Tesco announces pilot partnership with Gorillas
    • COVID-19 increases focus on health
    • Leading lunchtime foods fall outside new HFSS restrictions
    • On-pack nutrition label consultation proposed
    • Mandatory calorie labelling in foodservice likely to have limited impact
    • Long-term focus on sustainability predicted
    • Packaging will be a bigger driver of purchase decisions going forward
    • Growth in flexitarianism increases relevance of vegetarian and plant-based ranges
    • Household incomes under pressure on several fronts
    • More frequent usage of lunchtime foods linked to employment
      • Figure 14: Key economic data, 2020-26
    • Ageing population will hold back the category
      • Figure 15: Trends in UK population, by age, 2016-21 and 2021-26
  6. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Sainsbury’s relaunches meal deal…
    • …and introduces new lunch range
      • Figure 16: Examples of products from Sainsbury’s new lunch range, 2021
    • Co-op spends big on third on-the-go store
      • Figure 17: Co-op’s new on-the-go store, London, 2021
    • Asda partners with Twisted London before investing in Lean Kitchen Network
      • Figure 18: Asda launches Food Labs counter in Park Royal store, 2021
    • Asda begins rollout of On The Move convenience stores after successful trial
    • M&S Food announces collaboration with Costa Coffee…
    • …and extends agreement with bp until 2030
    • M&S launches new premium ciabattas as full lunchtime range returns
    • Morrisons expands Market Kitchen concept
      • Figure 19: Morrisons ‘Market Kitchen’, Edgbaston, 2020
  7. Usage Frequency of Lunchtime Foods from Retail

    • Only one in five eat lunchtime foods from retail at least three times a week
      • Figure 20: Usage frequency of lunchtime foods in retail, by age, working status and household income, 2021
    • Where people live also impacts frequency
    • At-home and hybrid workers are neck-and-neck
      • Figure 21: Eating of lunchtime foods from retail at least three times a week, by current working location, 2021
    • Younger demographics have widest repertoires
      • Figure 22: Repertoire of types of lunchtime foods bought in retail, by age, 2021
  8. When Lunchtime Foods Are Eaten

    • At-home occasions are a big opportunity
      • Figure 23: When lunchtime foods from retail are eaten, 2021
    • Leisure occasions trump work occasions
      • Figure 24: Usage of lunchtime foods bought in retail on leisure, work and on-the-go occasions, 2021
  9. Barriers to Eating Lunchtime Foods Bought in Retail

    • Value for money is the top barrier
      • Figure 25: Barriers to eating lunchtime foods bought in retail, 2021
  10. Retail Channels for Buying Lunch

    • Supermarkets are most popular purchase channel…
      • Figure 26: Retail channels for buying lunch, 2021
    • …but over a third buy lunchtime foods from online supermarkets
    • Category needs to sharpen up online ranges to respond to channel’s long-term growth
    • On-demand grocery delivery services already encroach on traditional retail outlets
  11. Types of Lunchtime Foods Bought in Retail

    • 70% have bought lunchtime foods in retail
      • Figure 27: Types of lunchtime foods bought in retail, 2021
    • Pre-packed sandwiches are the top choice for lunch
  12. Behaviours Related to Lunchtime Foods in Retail

    • Two thirds want lunchtime foods to help them reach five-a-day
      • Figure 28: Behaviours related to lunchtime foods in retail, 2021
      • Figure 29: Soupologie 5 a Day Carrot & Butternut Soup makes five-a-day claim central to on-pack messaging, 2022
    • Meal deals and in-store signposting can engage consumers seeking five-a-day
    • Lunchtime foods must offer nutrition beyond five-a-day
      • Figure 30: Recent examples of own-label ranges focusing on positive nutrition, 2021-22
    • BOL offers cues for targeting interest in functional health
      • Figure 31: BOL combining five-a-day claims with protein and fibre callouts, 2021
    • ‘Nutritionally complete’ messaging can tap interest in nutritionally rich lunchtime foods
      • Figure 32: BOL Power Brekkie Shake calling out that it is a nutritionally complete meal and providing micronutrient breakdown, 2021
    • Slow-release carbohydrates can tap into interest in satiety…
      • Figure 33: belVita breakfast biscuits calling out slow-release carbohydrates, 2021
    • …and functional health claims
      • Figure 34: Recent examples of bread products calling out fibre content, 2020-21
    • Calories remain important for a third
  13. Concepts of Interest in Lunchtime Foods in Retail

    • Non-plastic packaging appeals to a third
      • Figure 35: Concepts of interest in lunchtime foods in retail, 2021
    • Plastic packaging is widespread in the category
      • Figure 36: Examples of plastic-free callouts in lunchtime foods in retail, 2019-20
    • Retailers begin to explore fully recyclable sandwich packaging
    • Calling out plastic reduction speaks to the same
      • Figure 37: Tesco calling out amount of plastic that has been reduced in new packaging, 2022
    • BOL and John West offer cues for other potential packaging materials
      • Figure 38: Recent examples of bagasse and aluminium packaging for lunchtime foods, 2019-21
    • One in four interested in lower in carb offerings
    • Exploring alternatives to bread in sandwiches can boost low-carb image
      • Figure 39: Boots uses an egg wrap as bread substitute in a filled wrap product, 2020
      • Figure 40: International example of a wrap using collard greens as a bread alternative, 2020
  14. Attitudes towards Lunchtime Foods in Retail

    • High-protein legumes can help lunchtime foods tap meat reduction trend
      • Figure 41: Attitudes towards lunchtime foods in retail, 2021
    • Bean- and pulse-based lunchtime foods can tap into 5-a-day focus
      • Figure 42: Recent examples of lunchtime food products containing beans and pulses calling out protein and five-a-day, 2020-22
    • Opportunities for meat substitutes to expand usage occasions as familiarity increases
      • Figure 43: M&S Food Plant Kitchen No Lamb Shawarma, 2022
    • Positioning meat-free alternatives next to meat-containing counterparts can lower barrier to trial
    • Meat substitutes must emphasise naturalness to overcome processed image
      • Figure 44: Birds Eye emphasising naturalness of its pea protein, 2021
  15. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  16. Appendix – Market Size

      • Figure 45: Leading manufacturers’ sales and share in the UK pre-packaged fresh sandwiches retail market^, by value, 2019-21
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 46: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2021-26

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This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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