Britain’s appetite for hot food delivery may have peaked, according to new research from CGA. While a third of consumers said they had ordered delivered restaurant or takeaway food during lockdown, with another 11% planning to, the results suggest there has been no change in demand since pubs and restaurants were closed down.
The CGA BrandTrack survey of 5,000 consumers was carried out between April 11 and 16, with comparisons being made with similar CGA consumer research undertaken in mid-March, when again 33% said they were using delivery.
“What will be disappointing for those setting up new delivery services, is that the latest research shows that the proportion of adults planning to use delivery services, but yet to do so, has actually dropped since last month, down from 19% to 11%, while the number that have used delivery has remained static,” said Charlie Mitchell, CGA’s Research & Insight Director.
Also, the proportion of consumers who now don’t plan to order delivery has risen to 56%, up from 47%.
The positive news is that of those committed delivery users, over half (53%) are either first time users or existing customers ordering more often.
“This is a significant sub-group of consumers who are likely to hold the key to future growth in the market. Compared to the figures a month earlier, this represents a significant shift, when just 39% were either first timers or upping their use. Tracking and engaging with these people will become key,” added Mitchell.
These consumers also look like they are willing to take these habits into a “new normal” world post-lockdown. Of those who ordered delivery for the first time, or more often than usual, 60% said they would continue their frequency of ordering delivery from restaurants, and 70% from takeaways. Over a third (37%) also said they were likely to order delivery from pubs and bars in the future, if available.
Although more restaurant and pub operators have set up delivery options since the COVID-19 crisis hit, Mitchell believes that the apparent stalling of delivery demand may in part be down to the fact that a number of high-profile high street brands that had significant delivery businesses pre-lockdown have since closed their delivery operations on safety grounds.
“If these larger players start up again, along with the reopening of fast-food chains like KFC, we may see delivery start to grow again. We will be tracking that with our next survey,” he added.