Tesco shopper sandwich food to go

Health played a key role in shaping consumers’ food-to-go choices, says the IGD report

Almost one third (31%) of consumers would eat out more if healthier options were more readily available, according to an IGD report.

Health played a key role in shaping consumers’ food-to-go choices, with as many as 34% avoiding outlets and menus they viewed as too unhealthy.

The study included an online survey of more than 9,000 people, alongside qualitative tracking of consumers’ out-of-home eating experiences.

“Our research shows that when grabbing food on the go, people usually revert to the easiest option, so if finding something healthy requires special effort they are less likely to do so. When offered a range of options to make finding healthy food easier, the largest proportion of consumers (35%) recommended a dedicated selection of healthy options clearly marked in-store or on the menu,” said IGD head of shopper insight Rhian Thomas.

“The answer for different retailers could vary by format, customer base and even time of day, to make it as simple as possible to signpost consumers to seek out healthier options.”

IGD suggested that food-to-go retailers should expand their healthy ranges and reposition the language around healthy eating from one of sacrifice to feelgood food.

“Eating out of home plays a significant part in the national diet and, at the same time, interest in health and eating healthily is growing,” said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

“Many food and drink companies already view health as a hugely important part of their strategy, but there is a clear commercial opportunity for businesses to take the lead in this area.”