Shoppers who buy food or drink-to-go are more concerned about quality and freshness than price, despite the downturn, according to a new IGD consumer trends report Food to Go.

More than half (56 per cent) of food-to-go consumers decide where to purchase based primarily on the quality or freshness of products such as sandwiches, wraps and salads, compared to a third (31 per cent) who choose their store based on price.

However, when they are doing their main supermarket shop, more than half (58 per cent) mention price as a primary consideration of store choice.

“Food-to-go is a highly competitive market but despite the credit-crunch, some retailers and suppliers continue to enjoy strong growth. Price is important, but definitely not at the expense of quality,” said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD.

“Freshness and speed of service are a winning combination. Many food-to-go shoppers want to be tempted to try something new in-store, so exciting promotions and merchandising are also important, and with the increasing emphasis on healthy eating, there is a clear opportunity to promote the health credentials of food and drink-to-go."