Last Updated: March 17, 2021
Getting food delivered to your doorstep is one of the best perks of modern times.
Sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to go out to the restaurant or to the market. That’s where food delivery comes into the picture.
The latest food delivery statistics confirm it as one of the fastest-growing industries out there. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as food delivery is convenient, saves you time, and helps you avoid unnecessary social interaction when you just feel like curling up on your couch and watching your favorite TV show.
If you want to find out some interesting facts and statistics about food delivery, look no further than this article!
- The very first online ordering and delivery service was started by Pizza Hut in 1994
- The COVID-19 lockdown in March brought 8.32 million additional orders to Instacart
- Grubhub is the industry leader in the US
- The meal kit delivery services market grew 300% between 2017 and 2018
- 8% of Americans have at least one meal kit delivery subscription
- An average food delivery driver in the US has a yearly salary of $29,845
Current Food Delivery Statistics and Trends
Let’s look into the industry’s current situation and possible food delivery trends for 2021.
1. Chinese consumers generate the most revenue.
The latest food delivery stats and facts show that the U.S. food delivery market size is not the biggest in the world. In fact, China leads in the revenue department – a direct result of its remarkable market size of 579 billion yuan in 2019.
In 2020, China’s market size of online food delivery services reached 664,62 billion yuan or 102 billion US dollars. It surpassed the predictions which estimated the 2020 revenue to reach $51,514 million. These facts are absolutely mind-blowing. Although it’s worth noting that this industry comes with some controversy in the way China is handling it – there have been some concerns about its environmental impact, labor malpractices, and more.
2. The US’s 2020 revenue is estimated to reach $26,527 million.
Although not as high as China’s, the United States is still in second place with $26,527 million in revenue for the current year.
As a result of this revenue, we can expect a 5.1% annual growth rate. Coupled with the growing number of US users (which was 111.7 million in 2020), the US food delivery industry isn’t going away anytime soon.
The city which spent the most money on food delivery services in the US in 2019 is New York City– NYC food delivery statistics show that the average New Yorker spent $773.7 on food delivery. Coming in second place is San Francisco, with $579.8 per person.
3. Customers prefer ordering directly from restaurants, rather than going through a platform.
This restaurant-to-customer approach is set to have a revenue of $71,918 million by the end of 2021, compared to the $79,608 million of the platform-to-customer approach.
The reason why ordering directly from restaurants is more popular is simple – it’s cheaper and has less additional fees compared to going through a special platform.
4. Grubhub is the current industry leader in the US.
Which is the most popular food delivery service? According to online food delivery statistics, the current US industry leader is Grubhub. As of 2018, Grubhub holds 34% of the market share. In second place we have Uber Eats who are slowly catching up with their 27%, followed by DoorDash.
Regardless of their positions, the combined food delivery market share of these three companies is a whopping 70%. How can smaller companies even compare?
5. Instacart experienced an 8.32 million increase in orders between February and April.
As the pandemic got into full swing and the US government imposed a lockdown in most states, the effect was almost immediately felt by the delivery companies.
Unable to go out to restaurants, people turned to these services to provide them with tasty and comforting food which helped make the whole situation more bearable, and a huge number of them chose Instacart as their food delivery service.
Instacart went from getting 820,000 orders in February to 9.14 million in April. This is one of the most extreme examples, but US food delivery statistics show that this trend applies to most popular delivery companies such as Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, etc. This growth was not so remarkable for less popular companies.
What about meal kits?
Meal kit delivery services are one of the newer additions to the food delivery industry that have only gained popularity in the last few years.
They include the delivery of fresh ingredients which will later be used to cook meals, basically simplifying and digitizing grocery shopping. Home Chef is a nice example of one such company.
6. The meal kit delivery services market grew 300% between 2017 and 2018.
According to meal kit delivery statistics, the meal kit industry was valued at $4.65 billion in 2017. The very next year it blew up with a 300% increase. Estimates for 2022 are that the market will reach $11.6 billion.
7. 8% of Americans have at least one meal kit delivery subscription.
Meal kit services are a fairly new and budding industry. 8% of Americans have at least one meal kit delivery subscription with a promising prediction that this number will continue to grow.
8. The leading meal kit delivery service is HelloFresh.
Based in Berlin, Germany, this is the most popular service of its kind in the US. Meal kit delivery statistics show that during the last quarter of 2019, HelloFresh had 2.97 million people using their services, making it the most popular service of its kind.
HelloFresh’s main competitor is Blue Apron that finished the last quarter of 2019 with around 350,000 customers.
Recently, however, Blue Apron has been experiencing a decline in customer numbers, while HelloFresh is thriving. Between 2016 and 2019, HelloFresh tripled the number of their customers. So, it’s clear that HelloFresh will be sitting comfortably on the top at least for the nearest future.
The customer is always right
We talked about the industry, market, and companies. Now, let’s look at some stats about you, the customers.
9. Almost one-third of US households ordered grocery delivery in March 2020.
What percentage of U.S. households order food? Well, in March 2020, 31% of America’s households ordered their groceries to be delivered to their homes.
It’s pretty clear that this coincides with the start of the restrictions and lockdowns due to the ongoing pandemic. Not wanting to expose themselves to unnecessary dangers, 26% of them even said it was their first time ordering their groceries online. This number increased even more for people over 60 – 39% of them got their groceries delivered for the very first time.
Of course, this number won’t be as high when the pandemic dust settles, but it’s an important step for making online grocery ordering and delivery a viable and convenient option even when the world isn’t falling apart.
10. 34% of customers in the US order up to $50 worth of food.
Additionally, restaurant food delivery statistics show that most people in the US (34%) don’t order food more expensive than $50.
26% order food below $25, and 12% order up to $75 worth of food.
11. 47% of Americans make their orders by calling the restaurants directly.
According to a 2017 survey by Morgan Stanley, the largest number (45%) of customers make their orders via direct calls to the restaurants themselves, while 34% of them said they order online through the restaurant’s website or app.
Compared to the results from the same survey from 2016, the most notable difference is the increase in people who order through the delivery service’s website or app. In 2016 this number was 15%, and it grew to 18% in 2017. This stat only serves to prove that investing in building a website is worth it for delivery services, especially when it comes to small businesses.
12. 48% of customers use restaurant delivery websites/apps only 1-2 times in 90 days.
(Zion & Zion)
In a Zion & Zion survey conducted in 2018, when asked how often they had used a restaurant delivery website/app to order food in the last 90 days, 48% reported using them 1-2 times.
The online ordering statistics show that the second most popular choice was 3-4 times (24%), 13% ordered 5-6 times, 7% ordered more than 11 times, 5% ordered 7-8 times, and only 4% ordered 9-10 times.
13. 64.3% of Grubhub’s app users are female.
It’s always interesting to talk about food delivery demographics. It seems that women make up the larger percentage of the Grubhub app’s user base – 64.3% of it, while the remaining 35.7% belong to male users. Never underestimate the connection between a woman and her food.
Regarding age, there seems to be a tie between the 25-34 and 35-44 age group. Both groups make up 32.3% of Grubhub’s users. Surprisingly, the age group using the app the least is 18-24-year-olds. It seems that Grubhub needs to work on its Gen Z approach.
Who doesn’t like pizza?
It’s a widely known fact that pizza delivery was, and still is, one of the first popular forms of food delivery. This is where it all started, after all.
14. The very first online ordering and delivery service was started by Pizza Hut in 1994.
(Statista, The History of the Web)
In 1994 Pizza Hut launched Pizza Net as an experiment to see whether customers would be interested in ordering their pizza online.
Pizza.net was the place where you went, completed a form with your name, address, pizza of choice, and phone number, and as a result, your pizza was delivered safely to your door.
It’s safe to say that this experiment turned out to be very successful. In fact, Pizza Hut said in a tweet from 2013 that their pizza was actually the very first online purchase.
Whether that fact is true or not, it can’t be denied that Pizza Hut’s innovation became a model that many companies followed afterward, and a jumping board for the future of the food delivery industry.
15. In 2019, Americans spent 11 billion dollars on pizza delivery.
Yes, you read that right. Most recent food delivery statistics show that pizza delivery cost Americans a whopping $11 billion in only one year. The pizza delivery industry is thriving, marking an impressive increase of $1.2 billion between 2018 and 2019.
16. The most popular pizza delivery company is Domino’s Pizza.
Domino’s is aware of the importance and popularity of online orders and invests heavily in this sector. The results are obvious – in 2018, they had a 31.1% share of the total amount people spent on delivery for their pizza.
Delivery & Tips
17. Grubhub has the lowest service & delivery fees.
A lot of the delivery services such as the most popular Grubhub and similar ones – UberEats, DoorDash and Postmates, often charge additional fees for their services.
In Kinetic 12’s food delivery service fee comparison, they found that Grubhub charged them only 12% in fees. Compared to the other three services, this was the best result.
UberEats was in second place, with 20% in fees, followed by DoorDash with 21%. Postmates charged 30% – more than double Grubhub’s 12%.
18. An average food delivery driver in the US has a yearly salary of $29,845.
Food delivery revenue statistics show that $29,845 is what an average food delivery driver earns every year in the USA. That means that the average hourly pay is $14/hour. This doesn’t include tips.
19. UberEats has the fastest average delivery time of 35min 31s.
A study featuring 1,400 customers measured the time it took each delivery service (UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates) to arrive with the order. The results showed UberEats as the fastest, with an average time of 35 minutes and 31 seconds.
Postmates was second, with an average of 40 minutes and 12 seconds.
DoorDash was third, with 42 minutes and 01 seconds.
The most popular service was actually the slowest. Grubhub finished with the lowest score of 50 minutes and 22 seconds.
20. A third of surveyed customers said they would pay extra for faster delivery.
(Nation’s Restaurant News)
One of the biggest disappointments from food delivery is the delivery process taking too long. This results in an angry and starved customer. Even when the food arrives, it’s cold, and the disappointment increases.
According to customer experience stats, one disappointment can make customers abandon their “favorite” company and switch to competitors, so faster delivery is a must.
So, we understand why such a large number of people would be happy to pay more for faster delivery.
Food delivery proved to be one of the most important conveniences this year.
Whether it’s the delivery of cooked meals, meal kits, pizza, or groceries, the food delivery industry keeps us safe and protected when we need it most.
Even when the pandemic finishes, food delivery is here to stay. Why? Because people will always enjoy the convenience it offers.
We hope these food delivery statistics were informative and fun for you. If you feel like trying out some of the food delivery services, check out our reviews of Plated, Splendid Spoon, and NatureBox which are bound to satiate your appetite.