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A week of step change for retail/ food-to-go collaborations

We've been focusing for some time on the opportunity and expectation for more retailer/ food-to-go collaboration. This week brought some major new initiatives on this front - here we bring you up to speed.


Image source: Sainsbury's


1. Tesco and Pret deepen collaboration with five Pret shops in Tesco stores.


The first of these will open in Tesco’s Kensington store in June – followed by a further four locations. This is a fascinating collaboration that could add new mission destination status into store for Tesco and attract more affluent shoppers. For Pret meanwhile it provides a low risk route to expansion. The principle therefore appears to work well, and it ties in with a trend around partnerships that we’ve been talking about for a while. However, the execution and ability of the two businesses to effectively collaborate in-store will ultimately be key to success.


2. Sainsbury’s and Carluccio’s to trial three concepts.


Strictly, it’s an agreement from Sainsbury’s to partner with the Boparan Restaurant Group, with Carluccio’s as the common element across the three trial stores. A Caffè Carluccio’s concept will open in St Albans, a Carluccio’s Counter (with pizza, deli products and hot ready to eat lines available) will open in Leamington Spa and its Restaurant Hub will open in Selly Oak, West Midlands. Selly Oak is a recently developed large format store, which included a new look food court, together with Hana Group concepts Wok Street and Little India Kitchen on opening in late 2018. In addition to Carluccio's, the Restaurant Hub will include other Boparan Group brands – Slim Chickens, GBK, Harry Ramsdens and Ed’s Easy Diner. This will open in July, with Leamington Spa and St Albans set for June openings, with the first being St Albans on June 3.



3. EG Group and Rewe Group unveil Rewe express concept in Munich.


EG Group has shown a strong aptitude for partnerships over recent years, primarily in the UK, with the likes of Cinnabon and Sbarro among the most recent partners to join a strong list of franchise partners. But EG Group is focused on leveraging similar benefits in its fast expanding non-UK network, and with that in mind, the unveiling of its first Rewe express forecourt site, in Munich, marked a significant step forward for its German operations. This forms part of a four store trial, with the three remaining sites set to open in the coming weeks.


4. Morrisons adds Morrisons Kitchen into Rontec, two McColl's stores to follow.


In results earlier this week, CEO David Potts was buoyant about the recovery of food-to-go and the growth opportunity in wholesale. Plans for six further Market Kitchen concepts in Morrisons stores are under way, including one installation in a new store in Kirkby, near Liverpool. Morrisons and McColl's are rapidly rolling out the Morrisons Daily concept, and have announced they will test a Morrisons Daily Kitchen concept in two sites. One Morrisons Daily Kitchen concept is already trading on a Rontec forecourt.


Key takeout: Expect more development across supermarkets, forecourts and convenience retailers


So lots under way, and lots of opportunity, but in many markets, we're still only at the start of this journey. We'll be keeping a close eye on this in the months ahead as we look at the changing nature of the opportunity for food-to-go in retail - and this will be a growing focus as we relaunch our retail/ food-to-go safari programme. Get in touch with gavin@foodfuturesinsights.com to find out more.