Foodservice delivery expected to see modest upswing with consumers, as more make an effort to cook at home

This week, we received our first round of data from our new Channel Pulse.

Channel Pulse is our brand-new weekly measure of shopper and consumer behaviour across all UK food and drink channels. Channel Pulse will ensure you remain informed and connected throughout these unpredictable times, by analysing both the grocery retail and eating out markets - and importantly how they are interacting.  

Consumers have approximately three meals every day, plus snacks, and Channel Pulse can now tell us not only where those meals and snacks were purchased, but also where they were consumed – whether in or out of home. We will be tracking this data week on week, to give you a robust read on shopper and consumer behaviour.

Here are some of the headlines from our first Channel Pulse data:

  • Convenience channel shoppers are still visiting c-stores multiple times per week, more than any other channel, despite advice to limit shopping trips and buy only essentials.
  • Grocery trips are largely routine however there has been an uplift in treat products - in the last week consumers were twice as likely to buy alcohol or confectionery compared to household items such as toilet paper and cleaning products. Clearly, it’s a good thing that alcohol has been deemed an essential product! This will also of course be influenced by what has been available for shoppers to buy as many retailers have struggled to maintain stock of all categories.
  • As consumers are staying home, delivery plays a more significant role. Foodservice delivery is most popular at dinner, where it accounts for 7% of total dinner occasions. We expect that there will be two phases to this growth:
    • At first, slow growth due to consumer fears over safety, along with budget concerns. In fact, 45% of consumer are making an active effort to cook at home more, due to coronavirus.
    • However, the number of consumers ordering delivery is expected to increase as isolation continues. Given the primary motive for ordering delivery is as a treat and eating out isn’t an option now, delivery may well become the go-to to mark special occasions or simply differentiate the weekend from the weekdays. Furthermore, as the quarantine continues and consumers are likely getting bored of their home cooking repertoires, they may well look to delivery for a change. Laziness and not wanting to leave the house are the next biggest drivers for ordering a delivery and we’d anticipate these becoming increasingly frequent issues for many households.

To forecast this growth in delivery participation, we have asked consumers if they were planning on visiting different sub-channels more, less or the same in the next week. Predictably, hospitality sub-channels short term future fares badly. Currently we are seeing only modest growth for foodservice delivery with shoppers still planning to cook at home for the most part. However, as we’ve alluded to above, we anticipate this will see stronger growth in the coming weeks. On the grocery side of things, online shopping and convenience stores are the primary winners.


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