Foodservice Delivery Cuisine: the Usual Favourites or Lockdown Specials?

Despite a shaky start to the lock down period, foodservice delivery occasions have seen growth, climbing to a high of 25% usage in the past week.  Increasingly, previously completely closed operators have been re-opening selected sites for delivery and takeaway-only over the course of the past week.  These re-opened brands span from Nationwide giants in the form of KFC, to the more contemporary, London-focused operators including Pizza Pilgrims and Homeslice.

The slight up-tick in delivery has prompted us to delve into some of the more important considerations made by consumers during foodservice delivery purchase decisions, namely cuisine.  Cuisine type emerged as the principal factor in a consumer’s decision purchase hierarchy in our Foodservice delivery report, 2019.  When asked what factors come to mind when ‘you want to order a takeaway delivery’, 62% highlighted cuisine type, with delivery company and restaurant operator following behind at 27% and 11%, respectively. 

Despite only around a quarter of brands remaining open for takeaway and delivery (MCA’s Operator Data Index, April 2019), the leading five cuisine types for foodservice delivery remain unchanged, a homage to the popularity of these cuisines in the UK.  With no real surprises, the top five cuisines ordered for foodservice delivery in the past week were as follows: British, Burger, Pizza, Indian and Chinese, a traditional array of cuisines as found in our 2019 Foodservice delivery report.

The surprise comes in the order that the top five ranked in.  American (burger), Italian (pizza) and Indian cuisine, remain largely unchanged.  When asked which best describes the latest foodservice delivery, 14% of consumers opted for burger, 13% pizza and 11% Indian, Foodservice delivery report findings were 13%, 16% and 14%, respectively. 

The largest jumps in cuisine choice in the Top 5 was of British and Chinese cuisine.  Claiming a quarter of deliveries previously, just 11% of deliveries in the past seven days were Chinese, a 13 percentage point decline.  British cuisine (not including fish & chips) saw a 13 percentage point jump from less than one in ten (8%) to one in five (21%), claiming the top spot for most popular cuisine type during these troubled times.

Combined, the leading cuisine picks of Brits make up around three quarters of all cuisine choices, with channel pulse data showing the Top 5 to hold a share of 71% of all foodservice deliveries in the past seven days, down from 75% in the Foodservice delivery report findings.  Higher percentages of people selecting lesser popular cuisines for delivery, including Caribbean and Middle Eastern shows consumers being more adventurous with delivery choices, either through lack of alternative options, or a rise in adventurousness at a time when daily routines have become frighteningly cyclical for many.


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