‘Fast food’ is facing competition from ‘fast casual food’

The traditional fast food sub-channel is facing more competition from fast casual (a subset of quick service restaurants) operators, a new consumer report from Bord Bia has found.

The Quick Service and Food-to-Go Insights Report found that food-to-go and non-traditional foodservice offerings are also competing with fast food outlets.

Compared to fast food, the report found that fast casual offers greater variety and many operators incorporate ethnic themes and menu items.

Speaking at the launch of the report, David Henkes, Vice President of Technomic who conduct food industry
research from field to fork, said that fast casual food has the highest perception of healthy offerings.

Declan Ralph of BWG Foods, said that convenience stores, such as Mace (part of BWG Foods), are now expanding into the fast casual channel.

Ralph said that Mace is expanding into the bakery and that confectionery is becoming an increasing part of food on the move.

Londis (also part of BWG Foods) is revamping is image, changing to a white background with green writing, and it is also launching a deli brand, Bia Blas.

Ralph said that groceries are now a low margin business and that shops such as Mace and Londis are now trying to capture the food service side of things.

According to Bord Bia, there is an ever-growing crossover between the retail and foodservice markets as the market continues to grow for ‘food-to-go’.

Bord Bia states that it is being driven by a consumer that is looking for speed, improved food quality and expanding offerings from major chains.

Forecourt convenience operators recognise the importance of servicing today’s transumer – the customer that is on the go and looking for dashboard dining options.

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