South African retailer, Woolworths, has recently opened up a food-to-go format called Now Now. It allows customers to pre-order and pre-pay for food via the free-to-download Now Now app, and specify a time to collect it from the store. Customers can still order from the counter, too.
We’re really interested in the new format which is a great example of a retailer, which isn’t a food-to-go specialist, being really innovative in the food-to-go space.
From a UK retailing perspective, we’ll be watching its development closely. Formats, by tried by grocery retailers, that solely or heavily focus on food-to-go have previously been tried by Sainsbury’s (Fresh Kitchen) and Tesco (its Philpot Lane Express store encompassing Fred’s Food Construction and Villiers Street encompassing Burrito Kitchen) but have since closed. The only large grocery retailer here who we’re aware of that is currently doing standalone food-to-go in the UK (not as part of a wider grocery offer) is M&S with its M&S Food To Go format.
Woolworths is planning to roll the concept out across South Africa. It serves breakfast, lunch and coffee. Examples of its food offer include bircher muesli, juice shots and bacon sandwiches.