Food delivery is not a new phenomenon but the accessibility and availability of these direct-to-door home meal services, whether in-home meal kits, like Blue Apron, or foodservice delivery, like DoorDash, is unprecedented, according to new research from The NPD Group. Historically, consumers were limited to pizza and Asian foods in terms of delivery or local grocery delivery, but now there are numerous choices. What has also changed from past food delivery is that consumers are now accustomed to ordering goods online and having them delivered to their door quickly.
In terms of restaurant delivery, delivery traffic outside of pizza is growing strongly, up by 33 percent since 2012, while traditional quick service restaurant (QSR) pizza delivery is on the decline, according to NPD’s foodservice market research. Foodservice delivery options outside of pizza are still relatively small, with roughly six million delivery-related visits in the past year.
But there is little doubt that the growth rate for categories outside of QSR pizza will continue on a strong growth path. All types of restaurants are increasingly partnering with delivery services, such as Eat24, Grub Hub, and Seamless. As UberEATS and Amazon Prime Now restaurant delivery continues to roll out nationally, delivery will see significant growth. NPD’s forecasts that off-premise foodservice will continue to outpace overall restaurant industry traffic growth over the next decade.
“Consumers want the dining out experience of quality food, but they’re saving money and time by having food delivered to their homes,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant industry analyst. “Similar to the consumer value online direct-to-door shopping fulfills, there is the appeal of being in the comfort of their own homes, and not having to deal with the hassle of the outside world.”
In-home meal kits, whether meals to cook from scratch or just assembly, are a more recent offering than foodservice delivery. These kits appeal to consumers wanting fresh, authentic food, and control over what they’re eating, says NPD. Meal kit delivery services are growing in popularity, particularly in urban areas, but are not nearly as mainstreamed as foodservice meals.
“I don’t believe we’ll see mainstream adoption of home meal kits, like we’ve seen with foodservice delivery,” says Darren Seifer, NPD’s food and beverage industry analyst. “Meal kit consumers have more expendable income and primarily live in major metro areas. There is definitely a market for these services; it’s just not nearly as big as foodservice delivery.”