Foodservice Delivery Set to Gain as Consumers Look for a Treat

As we enter the first of two short weeks (and therefore long weekends) in May, our Channel Pulse data suggests that across the country, the novelty of meal preparation, trying new recipes and a general appreciation for culinary exploration appears to be wearing off.  For the second week in a row, an increasing number of consumers expect to order the same or more foodservice delivery in the following week (59%), with the proportion expecting to order less falling dramatically - from 46% last week, to just a third (33%) this week.

These findings confirm two schools of thought.  Firstly, a dampening on what may have been early concerns over hygiene and safety and secondly the dulling of what was initially a fun opportunity to reconnect with domestic gastronomic aspirations.

Foodservice delivery continues to be highly skewed to younger and London-based consumers, with 94% of those who consumed a foodservice takeaway/delivery in the past week aged 18-54 and 43% of consumers from London.  This aligns with the news that many London-based operators including Honest Burgers, Bone Daddies and Franco Manca, have begun to reopen key sites, with clear guidance on operating whilst adhering to social distancing measures. 

In the coming week, 12% of consumers expect to order more foodservice delivery.  Once again it is younger consumers that over-index in this expectation with just under a quarter (23%) of 18-24 year olds and one in five (20%) 25-35 year olds anticipating that they will order more.

Reasons for ordering foodservice delivery remain largely unchanged with “treat” continuing to be the number one driver for ordering a takeaway (34%), consistent with MCA’s 2019 Foodservice Delivery report.  Consumers are likely replacing what may have been a night out on the town to a restaurant or bar, with a night in and a takeaway, to retain a sense of indulgence in their lifestyle. 

“Too tired to cook” and “laziness” came out second and third in both our pre-coronavirus and peak-coronavirus research.  Foodservice operators may find some comfort in the finding that as far as delivery is concerned, consumer missions seem to be one of the few things remaining familiar to pre-coronavirus life.


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