Delivered drinks can boost operators and suppliers in 2021

Lockdown gives pubs, bars, restaurants and suppliers a chance to claim share of the delivered drinks market from supermarkets, CGA’s latest consumer research suggests.

The ‘2021 Hospitality Consumer Forecast’ has revealed an upswing in hot food deliveries during the latest lockdown—and while the drinks side of the market remains much smaller, it has also grown lately, with one in eight (12%) consumers in Britain ordered alcoholic drinks for delivery over the 2020 festive period.


Half (49%) of those who bought delivered drinks did so via supermarket websites, while another third (34%) used specialist alcohol sites. Numbers ordering through suppliers (21%), delivery platforms like Deliveroo (17%) and directly from a pub, bar or restaurant (14%) were much lower. But with more than half (54%) of consumers ordering alcohol delivery in December doing so more than in previous years, there is a growing market to be won by suppliers and On Premise operators if they can provide compelling reasons to buy.


Consumers ordering drinks for delivery tend to be highly engaged with the On Premise when it is open, the Forecast shows. Well over half (58%) drank out weekly before COVID-19—nine percentage points above the average. Men, affluent white collar professionals and city centre residents all over-index on alcohol deliveries too.


Previous CGA research has set out the scale of opportunity in the delivered drinks market, and shown that the trend is echoed in other countries including Australia and China. Those markets show how delivery’s appeal has endured well beyond the peak of COVID-19 restrictions, and more than a third (35%) of On Premise users in China now order alcoholic drinks for takeout or delivery at least weekly. Four in five say they ordered with increased (38%) or level (42%) frequency over 2020, and just a fifth (20%) reduced their frequency.


With two thirds (69%) of the consumers in Britain who ordered drink or food for delivery over Christmas 2020 planning to do so throughout 2021, the domestic market is similarly set to flourish well beyond the end of the current lockdown.

The delivered drinks market has been growing for a while now, but COVID-19 restrictions have propelled it into the mainstream,” says Rachel Weller, CGA’s head of consumer research and marketing.

Whether for treats or low-tempo occasions, or simply because they are missing visits out, more and more consumers are adding drinks to their food orders. Even when people can get back to the On Premise, pubs, bars, restaurants and suppliers will still have a great chance to win at-home as well as out-of-home sales if they can get their omnichannel strategies right.”

CGA’s ‘2021 Hospitality Consumer Forecast’, provides many more insights into the delivered drinks market, as well as a host of important evolutions in people’s behaviour and attitudes ahead of the sector’s reopening.


CGA’s ‘2021 Hospitality Consumer Forecast’ is based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of 3,000 on-trade consumers. For more about the series, email

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