6 things you didn’t know about the unstoppable rise of food delivery

Research house NPD has revealed its top facts about the booming British takeaway market after it was revealed that sales have grown from £2.4 billion to £4.2 billion in the past decade.

The growth, based on data up to February 2018, represents a 73% increase over the last 10 years and comes as NPD predicts delivery will grow 17% over next two years to create a £5 billion market.

1. Delivery orders up: Orders grew by +20% in visits in the two years to February 2018, that’s some 20 times faster than for the overall foodservice industry.

2. 10 takeaway deliveries per person: In the year ending February 2018, there were 673 million deliveries, nearly 6.0% of the total British eat-out or out-of-home (OOH) market. This is equivalent to everybody in Britain ordering 10 pizza takeaway deliveries each year.

3. 46% of delivery is still by phone: Although online is catching up, with 38% of orders, while apps make up the remaining 16%. But expect app orders to race ahead – in two years they have increased threefold.

4. Pizza is not so hot: While pizza delivery is in second place, it is not growing as quickly as the takeaway delivery market. Pizza’s share has dropped three percentage points in 2017 versus 2016.

5. Burgers are still sizzling: But British consumers love burgers knocking on their front door. Burgers are among the delivery winners, accounting for 60% more deliveries in 2017 than 2016.

6. Chips with everything: Chips are making their way into many a delivery box as they are now present in nearly 16% of all delivery visits.

The NPD Group says that the aggregators, such as Deliveroo, JUST EAT, hungryhouse and UberEATS, have been the catalyst for this growth. They have levelled the playing field, allowing smaller independents to compete more effectively with the bigger foodservice chains.

“Delivery is a big hit with consumers – thanks to the aggregators they now have a very large choice of restaurants at their fingertips,” said Cyril Lavenant, head of foodservice UK at the NPD Group. “It is also a great marketing platform, especially for independent restaurants that can’t afford to spend on advertising. Phone apps and websites also make it easier for consumers to order full meals from a variety of cuisines. Just one aggregator could offer a choice from either burgers, or chicken, or Indian, or Chinese, and much more. It’s all there at the click of a button.”

Mr Lavenant added that larger foodservice operators are responding well to the takeaway delivery boom, but know they need to manage the demand very carefully.

“With consumers spending around half as much as when they visit a restaurant in person – people typically cut out starters, desserts and drinks – a delivery order is potentially less lucrative to a large foodservice business and can reduce an operator’s profitability. Restaurants also must pay commission to the delivery company, and this impacts profits too. Whatever way you look at it, takeaway delivery is definitely changing the shape of Britain’s foodservice industry.”

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