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Direct-to-door home meal services, including in-home meal kits like Blue Apron, or foodservice delivery services like DoorDash, have seen unprecedented growth, according to new research from The NPD Group.
Historically, consumers were limited to pizza and Asian foods in terms of delivery, though the kinds of foods available for direct-to-door service have grown in accessibility and availability, which has in turn garnered increased consumer interest.
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.
Meanwhile, foodservice delivery options outside of pizza are still relatively small, with roughly 6 million delivery-related visits in the past year, --though the growth rate for categories outside of QSR pizza will continue on a strong path. NPD made particular note of restaurants partnering with services like Eat24, Grub Hub and Seamless, as well as the national rollout of UberEATS and Amazon Prime Now.
“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, on the other hand, are a more recent offering, and appeal to consumers wanting fresh, authentic food, and control over what they’re eating. They're seeing growth in popularity, particularly in urban areas, though not as mainstream as foodservice.
“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.”