Deliveries to provide ‘long-lasting boost’ to sector post-lockdown

The positive impact of Covid-19 on the delivery market is set to “provide a long-lasting boost” to the sector once the pandemic ends, according to Lumina Intelligence.

Its latest Foodservice Delivery Market Report Update found that prior to the pandemic, delivery accounted for one meal per consumer per month on average. 

During the lockdown period, this increased to five meals, as more consumers turned to foodservice delivery in place of dining out. 

However, despite the UK moving out of lockdown, Lumina Intelligence found that  foodservice delivery continues to account for three meals per consumer per month.

According to the group, increased exposure to deliveries during lockdown and increased interaction with apps will “provide a long-lasting boost to foodservice delivery in the future, as more operators see the benefit of having a delivery service and consumer confidence gradually returns”.

For consumers who did not engage with the delivery market, 24% said that price was the “main barrier”, while 16% cited food safety concerns and 9% cited a lack of options. 

As the UK officially enters a recession, price is “set to play a more defining role”, according to Lumina Intelligence, as consumers reduce their discretionary spend.

Blonnie Walsh, head of insight at Lumina Intelligence, said: “When the UK first entered lockdown, demand for foodservice delivery outstripped supply, with major players completely closing their operations. 

“At the end of March, only 19% of operators were offering a delivery and/or collection service. However, throughout lockdown many nationwide operators became delivery/takeaway only and smaller operators introduced delivery for the first time. This saw foodservice delivery’s share of total meals grow five-fold.”

She added: “With the UK moving out of lockdown and the hospitality sector reopening, foodservice delivery penetration will regress. However, the enhancement of technology and increased exposure to the channel during lockdown will result in a long-term boost for the market. 

“Price remains a key barrier to entry, but those operators that demonstrate value for money are set to reap the rewards of increased demand.”

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