Speaking at the Customer-Focused Convenience conference in London this week, HIM chief executive Mike Greene said its research showed sandwiches, crisps and confectionery were by far the top choices for eating on the move, with sandwiches number one at 43%. Hot foods were at the bottom, with pizza a mere 8%. "Are we giving too much of the store to new hot innovations rather than key items?" asked Greene. But he conceded this did not mean it had no future and, where it was working, it was delivering additional shoppers.
Tesco category director, convenience food John Burry said he thought hot food was failing because of poor delivery. But Robert Van Houten, concept development manager at Albert Heijn, said 10% of sales at its forecourt stores are hot snacks. Ahold is rolling out dedicated areas where warm snacks are prepared in front of the customer.