Focus On Food On The Go, by Megan Tatum (

Publishing: 5 December

Advertising deadline: 25 November

Download the synopsis

Submissions deadline: 20 November

The story

With the government planning to ban promotions on high salt, fat and sugar foods such as chocolate and crisps (both staples of the meal deal) and most of the nation stuck indoors anyway, is the death knell sounding for the supermarket meal deal? How has the past year reshaped the food to go category, given that most of us haven’t been going anywhere? How have players reliant on this sector adapted? And – dare we ask – what does the coming year have in store?

Key themes

Covid-19: While we need to explore how the onset of the Covid-19 impacted the food to go category, the key focus of this feature will be an exploration of how the pandemic is continuing to impact the market in terms of the kind of products people are buying, when and where they’re buying them and how much they’re prepared to pay. What will Covid-19’s legacy be on the market?

The government’s obesity strategy: To what extent will the forthcoming ban on certain types of promotions and restrictions on advertising for HFSS foods have on the meal deal and the wider food to go sector? Grab bags of crisps and chocolate bars have long been staples of this kind of deal, so is there now an opportunity for manufacturers of healthier products to move in?

Stay at home Britain: Shopping behaviour was turned on its head in 2020 – ‘little and often’ became buying sheds loads far less often. So, what impact has this had on suppliers and retailers that were previously catering for the on the go crowd? How have they adapted their businesses?

The reopening of Britain’s schools: This feature will explore how lockdown impacted sales of products designed for kids lunchboxes and how things had changed by the time our kids finally returned to school in September. Are more or less kids taking packed lunches to school? And how has the wider kids snacking market been impacted?

Home deliveries: Petrol forecourts were hit hard by the lockdown, with fuel sales down by as much as 75% and sales of the sarnies and other on the go goods drying up overnight. Since then, operators such as BP have signed up to Deliveroo to offer deliveries of groceries to consumers looking to avoid the supermarkets. How significant is this? Who else has signed up to doorstep deliveries?

Kantar data: Using Kantar commentary, we explain the reasons behind the rise and fall of the food to go sub-categories.

Innovations: We will profile eight new products or ranges that have ideally not appeared in The Grocer before. We need launch date, rsp, and a hi-res picture of each.