Convenience stores are missing out on sales of food to go, with the number of shopping trips that include food to go purchases dropping from 20% in 2014 to just 13% in 2018.

This is according to new research by data analysts at HIM, who said the figures come at a time when food to go is growing in multiples and fast-food outlets.

Val Kirillovs, research and insights director at HIM, said to prevent retailers losing shoppers to the competition, the channel needs to “step up its game”.

“Work is needed in areas such as freshness, ingredients’ quality and health,” he said.

Sarj Patel, of Pasture Lane Stores in Loughborough, said his food to go sales had declined by 5% since the collapse of delivered supplier Kerryfresh in March.

“One way to increase sales may be to offer food to go in pricemarked packs,” he said.

Umakant Patel, of Crown Wood Londis in Berkshire, said: “Having food to go as part of a meal deal that includes a hot drink is also an effective way to increase sales.”