Holland & Barrett tests ‘food to go’ market with trials across multiple stores

Holland & Barrett

Holland & Barrett’s head of food for ‘On The Go’ has said the chain has had an “extremely positive response” to its food to go trial scheme.

Ian Chant said that there had been a strong start to sales and that feedback from customers indicated they were liking the range of products on offer.

The health food retailer has been trialling its food to go scheme in six of its London stores – Covent Garden, High Holborn, Cheapside, Leadenhall, Victoria Gate and Canary Wharf – since mid-July.

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The chain is offering customers a £3.99 meal deal including a main, a snack and a drink, and has partnered with a number of suppliers including The Soho Sandwich Company.

Through this partnership the chain has gained access to a range of Tofurkey branded products, which Mr Chant said had been particularly big sellers so far.

The decision to start a food to go offer was taken in part to bring in a younger audience, with Mr Chant claiming that some people currently perceive Holland & Barrett as catering for “a more mature demographic.”

And early results indicate the offer could be a success, with 12% of those customers taking up the offer brand new to Holland & Barrett.

Mr Chant said: “12% is actually quite a big number. If you look at trials and initiatives, the average amount of new customers is generally around 5% or 6% so to get double that is great.”

He added that the deal was also seeing good repeat rates, with one in five consumers coming back regularly, and claimed that 70% of customers buying food to go are also spending on average an extra £2 in store.

And while Mr Chant – who spoke at last week’s Lunch! show in London – said that he was still unsure about what the future would hold for the offer once the trial has ended, he is delighted with the reaction so far.

He concluded: “At the moment we’re getting new customers in, they’re spending more and they’re coming back. So at this stage, a few weeks down the line, we are very happy with the progress.”

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Patrick Cremona

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