Midcounties Co-operative Society is to open its first dedicated food-to-go store in the new year.

The store, in Gloucester city centre, will focus on selling food to be consumed within four hours of purchase.

“Four to five” of the society’s 229 stores had also been earmarked for conversion to the new format, said Midcounties deputy CEO Andy Cresswell.

Midcounties had reclassified its stores into four formats, he added, the others being: supermarkets, express and community stores.

It was on course to report sales of £940m for 2012/13, but despite being almost £1bn in size, many consumers had not heard of the society, he admitted.