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Food delivery could reach £7.1Bn in 2020 suggests NPD Group

30th Nov 2020 - 05:00
Global information company The NPD Group has found that despite the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic on the out-of-home foodservice industry, the delivery market has become a ‘welcome success’.

Growing takeaway market

Comparing the January-to-October period this year with the same period in 2019, the delivery market is up 14% in visit terms to 804 million and has seen a 40% increase in spend to £5.7Bn.

However, according to NPD’s research, consumers will still continue to value eating out when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Covid-19 rules boosting takeaway

The Government introduced a second national lockdown in England that is due to end on 2 December 2020. Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close but they can still provide a takeaway service.

The NPD Group predicts on current trends delivery could finish 2020 with visits in the 12 months up 16% to break the 1Bn barrier and reach 1.1Bn visits with spend projected up by 42% at £7.1Bn. 

This would be the equivalent of a 12 million monthly increase in visits versus 2019 and a £177 million monthly boost to spend.

UK’s top food deliveries

Delivery now accounts for 16% of the foodservice industry’s £41 billion spend compared to 9% pre-Covid.

The top visits (Jan to Oct 2020 in millions):

  • Pizza= 208m
  • Chips/fries/wedges= 147m
  • Beef burgers= 71m
  • Chicken nuggets/trips/pieces= 69m
  • Chicken burgers= 39m

Dominic Allport, insights director (foodservice) at The NPD Group, said: “Delivery is the silver lining in the otherwise very black cloud that hangs over Britain’s foodservice sector and has been the standout performer in 2020.

“Delivery spend peaked in July at 51% above pre-Covid levels but this trailed off as foodservice operators re-opened and with the August Eat-Out-to-Help-Out scheme.

“It’s now rising again amid the return to stricter lockdown rules and we expect it to see further success in the colder winter months and on into 2021.

“While the delivery channel is often seen as a threat by some operators, during the Covid-19 crisis it is bringing valuable business to many outlets that are otherwise facing the severest business challenges, and helping to feed a nation locked down in their homes.”

Consumers will return to dining out

NPD’s latest survey shows that Brits still value eating out in restaurants, with 50% saying they prefer to dine out or get a takeaway from a restaurant when spending time with friends.

Almost six in 10 (58%) say they choose restaurants to eat ‘something special’. This bodes well for the sector, providing hope for when it begins to reopen and recover from the pandemic.

Allport added: “Delivery has thrived during the pandemic, and we expect to see a strong performance in November too.

“Our Sentiment Survey provides a much-needed ray of hope for restaurant operators and suggests diners will be keen to enjoy the experience of eating out with their friends, and some special meals in restaurants when they can. With so many operators struggling, let’s hope this happens sooner rather than later.”

Written by
Edward Waddell