The impact of Covid-19 on the out of home sector in Scotland

2 documents for this subject


We worked with Kantar who provided data on how we interacted with the Out of Home (OOH) food and drink environment in 2020.  This report provides an overview of the OOH market, making comparisons with data for 2019 to allow us to explore how our eating behaviours have changed during the pandemic.

The key findings of the report include:

General impact

  • The value of the total OOH market in Scotland was £3 billion in 2020, a reduction of 36% compared to 2019.
  • The average number of times people visited OOH reduced from 4.2 trips per week in 2019 to 2.6 trips per week in 2020.

Who was impacted?

  • In Scotland, the number of trips to OOH in 2020 reduced across all age groups, but those aged 35 to 54 reduced the most. There was a decrease of 176 million trips for this age group compared to 2019.
  • In 2020, those who lived in the least deprived areas in Scotland spent more per trip on OOH food purchases, at around £6.17 on average. Those who lived in the most deprived areas spent the least at around £4.29 on average.
  • Those living in rural areas of Scotland visited OOH more frequently in 2020, making 186 trips per year, whilst those living in urban made 126 trips. However, trips declined by a third for both overall in 2020 compared to 2019.

Where did consumers visit and what did people eat?

  • Since the restrictions of the pandemic began, lunch occasions had the biggest reduction of 50% less compared to 2019. Evening meals declined to a lesser extent at 24%. This was possibly due to evening meals being most frequently purchased on delivery.
  • All food and drink categories experienced a decline in the number of occasions we ate OOH in 2020.  Drinks was the most impacted at 42% less, and main meals were the least impacted at 30% less compared to 2019.

Takeaway and delivery

  • Takeaways grew to a market value of £1.1 billion, a 31% increase compared to 2019, with an additional 21 million trips.
  • Scotland saw a huge rise in ordering takeaways from restaurant apps and other third party apps (such as Just Eat) in 2020, compared to 2019.
  • 1.2 million new consumers (an increase of 54%) used delivery services in Scotland in 2020 compared to 2019.


  • The percentage of trips OOH featuring a promotion in Scotland declined during lockdown and bounced back as restrictions eased.  However, overall this remained very similar to 2019.
  • An additional £832 million was spent across Great Britain during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, with an increase of 54 million trips compared to the previous month.

More on this topic


Provision of calorie and nutrition information by branded out of home businesses in Scotland.

This project explored the provision of nutrition information provided by branded out of home businesses in 2021, including information provided online and within premises. The project also analysed the reported calorie contents of food and drink items avai


The Out of Home Environment in Scotland (2019)

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) commissioned Kantar to provide data on the Out of Home (OOH) food and drink landscape for Great Britain, with particular focus on Scotland, from Dec 2018 to Jan 2019.