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In 2015 the food on the go market was worth an estimated £20.2bn which represented 25% of what people spent on eating out in the UK. With a growth rate of 5%, the food on the go market outperforms what we spend on our food shopping in general.

Researchers have identified 2 unique growth areas with the food on the go market. The first one is general snacking which is up by 3% and breakfast substitutes which is up by 7%.

Due to lifestyle changes and people living busier lives, many people are now eating breakfast on the go, this can range from cereal/protein bars to fruit or even a sandwich.

Rather than sitting down to a meal, people want their mealtimes to fit around them so they can multi task their lifestyles and free up time to do other things, and they want to feel fuller for longer.

The nations favourite snack food which is sought after more than any other is the humble sandwich which generates an estimated market worth of £4.4bn. The sandwich, which was invented in the 18th century at the request of the Earl of Sandwich, has a long tradition of being the UK’s most popular go to snack for people on the go.  The Sandwich has seen its range expansion double and financial investment shows no sign of abating with Marks and Spencer’s alone increasing its sandwich range from 38 to 68 from 2013-2015.

baguette2 copyThe popularity of the sandwich can be attributed to its  practicality, cost and easiness to obtain. Different types of bread can be used to make it, they can be sweet or savoury,  can be eaten any time of the day and the sandwich can be as healthy or calorie laden as you want it to be!

There are however some formidable challengers and rising stars in the food to go market that are hot on the heels of the humble sandwiches and are strong contenders to steal its crown in 2016.

Consumers not also want great taste and functionality, they also want added health benefits too, and due to consumers demand for healthier ‘on the go foods’, the popularity of nutrition and cereal bars is growing.

Gone are the days when protein and cereal bars were tasteless, boring or the staple of the fitness elite and only found in gyms or health clubs.  Protein and cereal bars are now very much mainstream snack staples, thanks to dedicated targeted marketing and the change in consumer’s lifestyle and working habits, and now have an estimated market share worth of £8bn by 2017.Cookies

This growing trend is being fuelled not only by younger generations. This demographic group are looking for healthier and tastier snacks that will give them fuel during physical activities or help them to loose weight as part of calorie controlled diet. The baby boomer generation however are looking for satisfying functional foods on the go that contain antioxidants, heart friendly fats, whole grains or anti-aging properties, and look and taste good.

“People are definitely looking for snacks that provide positive nutrition – fibre, whole grains and protein” claims Jim Sell from Kellogg’s.

Another rising star in the grab and go food market is the traditional South African snack food Biltong.  The name biltong comes from the Dutch words bill (rump) and tong (strip or tongue) and it’s taken off across the UK in the big way. Once unheard of and very hard to get hold of in the UK and the preserve of specialist niche food shops, biltong now graces the shelves of supermarkets, and the bars of hotels and pubs up and down the UK.

So what is making biltong such a popular snack a food?

Unlike other jerk meats biltong is low in fat (only 3% fat in a 25gram serving), full protein (25 gram serving can give up 50% of your daily protein allowance) and it’s full of minerals and vitamins (including vitamin B12) which can help the body post gym work out or on the go., is also strong a favourite with consumers in the food to go market, due to its focus on nutrition, healthy living and convenience. One of their key selling points with consumers is that you can get your snacks on the go delivered to your office or home which cuts down the time the consumer has to spend purchasing their snack during the day.

The clever thing about the Graze box is that your snacks come packaged in convenient mini trays that can fit into your handbag, pocket or brief case so you can eat them anywhere on the go, yet the portions in the mini trays are satisfying enough to keep you going to your next meal or give that much need energy boost at 4pm in the office.


Pork scratchings have been given a new lease of life in the form of pork crackling and re-branded as a healthy, low fat, nutritious and up market super snack. One of the reasons for this is due to the protein content within in a 20g bag of pork scratchings which can contain more protein than one egg. Said to have originated in the West Midlands in the Victorian era, this snack was eaten by the working classes who would raise their own pigs for food. With food scarce nothing was wasted. By the 1930’s butchers had started selling pork scratchings, and according the Daily Mail, sales now exceed 20 million bags per year. A pack also contain less sugar and carbohydrates than other snacks on the market.

It’s not just healthy snack foods that are popular with consumers; donuts, pasties and crisps are also still very popular and sought after in the grab and go market.

The one thing that all these products have in common is the right packaging. Without the correct packaging none of these foods would be as functional and as quick as we need them to be.

At KernPack we understand that the food on the go market is an important and growing sector within the food industry and we have the right packaging solutions for these products, whether it’s a new start up business or a company looking to expand their production into to the foods on the go market.

We understand that food on the go products have to be wrapped and presented to the consumer in the freshest and most attractive way.

Our ZED flow wrapping solution is made for smaller food on the go products. With up to 30 packs per minute, this machine easily to keeps up with demand from this growing market. With the ability to wrap horizontally or vertically, this machine packs a punch.

To find out more about the ZED and KernPack packaging solutions call 0845 680 60 60 or email us at



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