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Takeaway demand soars during lockdown

Posted on 26/06/2020

Just Eat just announced figures showing increased demand for takeaways during the lockdown. Orders grew 33% year on year (YOY) in April and May, which in reality is no surprise considering the closure of restaurants and pubs.

Interestingly, breakfast grew by 50% and lunch by 80% compared to the previous quarter. It seems those quick lunches and social brunch occasions have been missed by the British public and food delivery has benefited.

Classics such as, Italian, Chinese and Indian have remained popular, but Just Eat also reported growth in Greek (116%), Turkish (55%), and Thai & Vietnamese (57%) orders, which goes to show that new customers are moving to delivered food to feed their appetite. Surely, come July and the future months ahead, many of these customers will remain committed to food delivery in addition to dining out.

The demand for veggie and vegan options also increased, with a 29% increase in orders since mid-March, further highlighting the trend for healthier, meat-free meals. It would be interesting to get a breakdown of customer demographics here to see if it is the younger generation, who are more environmentally and health conscious, driving this trend.

Sweet treats have grown exponentially, with a 93% increase since the beginning of lockdown, with the highest ever ice cream sales recorded with a 20% spike, this is in correlation with the high-temperatures and sunshine that have blessed the British Isles over the past few months.

Aviko's opinion of Just Eat takeaway stats

Just Eat's press release is a good indication of what's happening in the food delivery market, it's a decent sample size and covers the whole of the UK, check out some of their other stats, such as Glasgow's love of Greek food and Wales' penchant for Japanese cuisine!

The stats tell us a number of things, but it would be interesting to get more information. Is the overall increase of 33% the same customers ordering more frequently, new customers moving to delivery, or a combination of the two? We would assume it's the latter. We would go as far as to predict that new delivery customers will continue to order takeaway and sales of food delivery will find a new normal, higher that that of pre-pandemic levels. Of course, the health of the economy will play a major role here as unemployment rises and disposable cash levels drop.

The overall hike in takeaway orders doesn't completely correlate with the fact that consumers haven't been able to dine out, so the impact to the entire hospitality sector is negative. With many people on furlough or working from home, a lot more people have replaced their out-of-home dining experience with home cooked meals, with meal kit providers such as Mindful Chef seeing huge growth. The Devon based business increased their daily customer intake from around 150 per day to over 2,000, with no signs of slowing down, even with supermarkets back to normal. Hello Fresh also reported a 69% quarterly growth YOY.

Could your restaurant or local fast food outlet provide meal kits in addition to your regular menu? You could even help customers with cooking and recipe tutorials via your social media channels to stay in the forefront of your customer's minds, so when they do dine out or order in, you're top of the list. Thunderbird Chicken have been doing exactly this, and judging from their Instagram views and comments, it's been well received.

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