A recent survey carried out by Dart Products Europe has looked into the eating habits of consumers during the autumn and winter months.
It is of no surprise that there is an increase of hot food to go purchases throughout autumn and winter, as 83% of those who participated in the survey expressed that they buy hot food to go more frequently during the cooler season. Out of this 83% over 90% of them say that their chosen time to purchase is during the lunchtime period of 12 and 2pm, choosing a filling and flavoursome dish as a pick me up during lunch break.
With the ever-growing menus from retailers and operators offering a taste of every culture, and sandwiches and wraps filled to the brim with endless options, what is it that consumers really want when it comes to hot food to go? Surprisingly, traditional menu items are still the top of consumers’ lists, with 60% of participants saying that soup is their go to dish when selecting a hot food offering at lunchtime, closely followed by warm savoury pastries such as sausage rolls and pasties. However, with 15% selecting noodles for lunch and 17% opting for pasta and sauce, there is room for different flavours that still give customers a comforting eating experience. The opportunity to give customers a more exotic and varied menu is always present, as 21% of participants purchase hot food to go twice-weekly and 16% as frequently as 3-4 times a week during the autumn and winter, making sure customers avoid boring eating habits is what sets food operators apart.
When asked why selected participants were put off from buying hot food to go, 16% admitted that they weren’t tempted to buy hot food due to it being ‘too messy’. Putting an end to this issue can be made through innovative packaging, and with Dart Products Europe’s packaging solutions such as Ultra Clear plus press&dress not only are potential customers enticed by showcased menu items through crystal clear PET, but with the press&dress lid design they get convenient mess-free packaging that is perfect for applications such as noodles.
Alternatively, Dart Products Europe’s Flexstyle containers are the ideal option for meeting the demands of both traditional yet new lunchtime offerings. The containers, such as the ‘DELIcious’ stock design hot food containers are made from FSC certified heavy duty paperboard. Flexstyle containers can cater for every seasonal dish from soups and stews to porridge and pasta.
When it comes to choosing hot food to go options, customers strive for dishes that are comforting without compromising on convenience. Get ahead this season by checking out Dart Products Europe’s full packaging solutions.
How often to you buy hot food to go at lunchtime? Tell us in the comment box below.