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The Continuing Food Delivery Revolution

19 July 2019

The Continuing Food Delivery Revolution

 Tom Collins, Consumer Insight Specialist, Bord Bia – The Irish Board



By the end of 2020, UK consumer spend on food delivery is forecast to increase by 22% with an annual market value of £5.8bn. The grab n’ go channel and the evolution of the food delivery market will be responsible for 85% of growth over the next 2 years (NPD Group).


The growth is being driven by changing consumer behaviour and facilitated by the key aggregators, Deliveroo & Uber Eats & their partnerships.


Fuller Lives (Bord Bia, Consumer Lifestyle Trends) explains how consumers want to use their time to be as productive & sociable as possible, flowing from one thing to the next – and helped, not hindered, by tech.  Flexi-Food explains the shifting & reshaping of traditional eating and drinking occasions for consumers who are seeking to maximise their days (and nights), forcing rapid change for food & drink manufacturers and channels. Uber-Eats have trialled and now will launch, a 24 hour delivery service in London, due to the rising consumer demand for late night food delivery. This was introduced on the back of a trend which saw orders between 12am and 4am rising by 385% in the previous several months (Metro, August 2018).


Consumers have become more dependent on digital solutions to manage their lifestyles & enhance efficiency within their everyday lives. App orders are forecast to increase by 88% and by the end of 2020 digital visits will exceed 1bn per year (NPD Group). Starbucks are backing this trend through their partnership with UberEats in London. A pilot coffee delivery service will allows consumers to order a hot drink from Starbucks within the UberEats app. Roz Brewer, CEO, said ‘By integrating our ordering technology directly with UberEats, we’ve unlocked the ability to bring Starbucks to customers for those times when they’re not able to come to us’ (Telegraph UK, 2019).


Taking digital food delivery one step further, Deliveroo are piloting a service whereby all human interaction is eliminated from the process. They have developed a new takeaway box that can be delivered through the letterbox. Partnering with Katsouris Deli café in Manchester, you can now enjoy interaction-free food.


The market is moving at such a pace that are we about to see food delivery come full circle, i.e. back to the traditional restaurant? Uber-Eats certainly think so as they are piloting a new ‘Dine-In’ service whereby consumers can pre-order food at a restaurant. Consumers can avoid waiting times and turn up to the restaurant at their chosen time for immediate eating.  


Companies should understand the effect of consumer’s fragmenting lifestyles and daypart behaviours on demand for food ordering. App based ordering must work to keep up with consumers’ demand and offer them, more personalised and relevant offerings.