- September 29, 2020

Comscore Snapshot: is food delivery becoming central to European diets?

Alex Gevers
Alex Gevers
Senior Insights Manager

In this week’s edition of Comscore Snapshot, we look at food delivery services in Europe, and their importance relative to home cooking. These services allow consumers to order food from a local restaurant and have it delivered to their homes. Examples are Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat Takeaway, Delivery Hero, or Glovo. In our analysis, we include statistics for France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK.

While the forced closure of restaurants in the early stages of the lockdowns greatly reduced the range on offer, anxiety about the spread of the virus is giving consumers an added incentive to use food delivery services instead of leaving their homes. But is it prompting consumers to develop a new habit that comes at the expense of home cooking?

To answer this, we look at the share of selected food delivery services, as a proportion of the whole “Food/Supermarket/Grocery” category. (The Food/Supermarket/Grocery category includes sites where users can purchase and/or deliver groceries, beverages/food products.) The data is summarised in the table below, and it paints a nuanced picture; in Germany and the UK, the importance of food delivery services relative to the online grocery category has increased since February 2020 (i.e. pre-pandemic times). It remains at an all-time high as of July 2020, the latest month for which we have data. In France, Italy, and Spain, the importance of food delivery importance peaked in May 2020, and has since decreased.

Table 1. Audience of top food delivery apps as % of audience of the “Food/Supermarket/Grocery category”.

  Feb-2020 Mar-2020 Apr-2020 May-2020 Jun-2020 Jul-2020
France 19% 22% 23% 27% 26% 21%
Germany 34% 35% 39% 36% 38% 39%
Italy 22% 23% 24% 27% 24% 22%
Spain 23% 25% 26% 28% 25% 26%
UK 33% 33% 36% 39% 39% 40%

Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform, February – Sep 2020, EU5 countries. Based on custom-defined lists that include Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat Takeaway, Delivery Hero, or Glovo.

Habit formation takes time, and given the decreasing importance of food delivery services observed in France, Italy and Spain, it is natural to ask whether the habit of food delivery will fall back to its pre-pandemic equilibrium. Or is the slight decrease seen in France, Italy and Spain the result of seasonal factors (summer holidays, say)? The table below indicates that the latter applies: comparing year-on-year data, (in this case July 2020 with July 2019 data), shows that food delivery as a proportion of the online food and groceries categories has increased in all EU5 countries.

Table 2. Size of audience of top food delivery apps, relative to the whole online “Food/Supermarket/Grocery category”.

  Jul-2019 Jul-2020 % variation
France 18% 21% +15%
Germany 37% 39% +7%
Italy 21% 22% +5%
Spain 17% 26% +51%
UK 34% 40% +17%

Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform, July 2019 – July 2020, EU5 countries. Based on custom-defined lists that include Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat Takeaway, Delivery Hero, or Glovo.

A consequence of the pandemic is that consumers are getting into the habit of having products and services delivered at home. Competition, therefore, is just one click away. And while seasonality plays a role in food delivery usage, its importance, relative to buying groceries online, is going up.

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