In our previous articles, we were sharing insights regarding how we used faked users to attract new users and healthcare trends 2021. Previous year, saw a massive increase in the number of people using food delivery services like Just Eat, Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Grubhub.
With COVID-19 forcing many restaurants to close temporarily, many customers turned to get their favorite fast food delivered directly to their homes.
Even with lockdowns easing all around the world, people still want the convenience that home delivery provides.
This makes the fast-food delivery market a lucrative industry to get started in.
If you are in the home delivery industry or are looking to get into the food delivery market, what are the trends you need to be aware of in 2021?
Join us as we take a look at eight of the most popular trends at the moment. We’ll also be looking at how to factor these trends into your startup planning, and what to look out for in the future.
- The rise of brand new delivery channels;
- The growth of millennial buying power;
- The development of new delivery options;
- The growing use of AR and VR;
- The increased variety available;
- New green and sustainable delivery options;
- The growth of blockchain and cryptocurrencies;
- The rise of big data.
1. The rise of brand new food delivery channels
At the start of the millennium, if you wanted to order a takeaway you had two options. You could call and place an order, or visit the restaurant and give your order to the staff. These two options were slow and not ideal if you weren’t comfortable talking to people!
Now there are a lot more options available to you, from using emojis to placing an order while you are watching your favorite tv show. The key is convenience – being able to order without too much effort.
What options are available in 2021? You can…
- Online order – either through a bespoke website or a delivery service like Deliveroo or Uber Eats;
- Order via an app – again either through a bespoke app or one developed by a food delivery service;
- Social media orders – Domino’s lets people order by tweeting a pizza emoji to their account;
- Virtual Assistant order – delivery platforms have integrated with systems like Alexa and Echo so that people can order food by voice, as well as track the progress of their order;
- Order via Slack – Dominos is leading the way when it comes to alternative delivery channels, letting people order through the messaging system;
- Order by chatbot – food delivery companies can set up chatbots on their website that let customers place orders. Alternatively, people can use Facebook Messenger to place their food orders and ask questions about the menu;
- Order with a smartwatch. OrderUp lets you order food via an Apple Watch;
- Order by text – customers can send an order to a dedicated number and place a food order. They can pay either by credit/debit card or through their mobile phone bill;
- Order via a smart tv – as an example, you can order food directly through a Samsung Smart TV using TVtakeaways;
- Order by car. BMW recently partnered with Olo to trial a food delivery service that can be requested through a car’s dashboard.
Put a question to yourself – Which food delivery channel is the right one for your business?
The answer is…It depends!
Liaise with your target audience to see how they prefer to order their takeaway food. It’s better to offer two or three channels that customers will be used extensively, rather than several that will rarely be utilized.
Whatever channel you offer, you need to make sure that it is easy to use. 63% of people will abandon a delivery order if they have a bad customer experience. And if they have a bad experience, they are likely to tell their friends and family about it.
2. The growth of millennial buying power
Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) are the age group most likely to use food delivery services, and their expectations are high.
Millennials spend the most money on pre-prepared food than other generations, and are three times more likely to use delivery apps than their parents are.
Why are Millennials more likely to use food delivery services? They have more money to spend on takeaway food than the younger generation and are more tech-savvy than the older generation.
If you’re not focusing on Millennials as part of your food delivery marketing strategy, you need to make this group a priority. After all, they are likely to be the ones that will bring you most of your business.
3. The development of new food delivery options
Takeaway delivery options have evolved over the years. Originally you had to go to the restaurant to pick up your food. After that, businesses used to deliver food by car, then started to use bikes to make it easier to travel around densely populated urban areas.
Now the rise of technology means that you no longer need to recruit or hire delivery drivers to deliver your food.
So, what options are available to deliver foods to homes in 2021 and beyond?
- Drones – businesses have been experimenting with delivering food by drone for years. Drones are ideal as they can deliver food to customers quickly and safely, working well in busy cities;
- Self-driving cars – self-driving cars are being used to deliver food in certain areas. GM Motors and Doordash have been working together to carry out takeaway deliveries in San Francisco;
- Robots – another option, is to use droids for food delivery. These droids use GPS and sensors to deliver food safely and accurately to hungry customers.
These delivery options are only being used in limited regions at the moment, but as technology develops, they will become more commonplace. Take the time to think about which ones will bring the most benefit to your business.
As well as new and innovative ways to bring food to customers, the location’s food can be delivered to are evolving as well. For example, Uber Eats can now deliver food to customers waiting for their flights at airports!
4. The growing use of AR and VR
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are tools that food delivery companies can use to showcase their menus and increase sales.
Some of the novel ways that AR and VR are being used at this moment in time include:
- Letting customers see dishes in front of them to help them decide which meal to order;
- Creating funny filters so customers can take selfies of food floating into their mouth, or turning customers into food. This can help raise brand awareness and promote a business via social media marketing channels;
- Letting customers play fun games while they wait for their food to arrive.
You can start using VR and AR for fast foods companies. For example, KFC uses VR to teach new employees about the brand and its values.
Think about whether you can use AR and VR to promote your food delivery business, whether to amplify your brand or showcase the different dishes that you sell.
5. The increased variety available
Over the last year, there has been a rise in non-traditional items being ordered online and through mobile apps. People now can buy more than just pizza, burgers, and curries!
With pubs and bars closed because of lockdown, people have not been able to go out for beers and cocktails with friends.
Some companies have seized this opportunity to sell alcohol to customers, either as a stand-alone service or alongside the food that they deliver. This has been well-received by customers, with alcohol deliveries going up by a third in 2020!
Sweet delivery sales are also rising, with customers craving sugary comfort foods like cake, doughnuts, pies, and milkshakes. Specialist dessert-centered takeaways have been opening to accommodate this demand.
The times that people want food have changed too. Traditionally customers are ordering takeaways mainly in the evening time, but now they are ordering around the clock.
From delicious breakfast foods to tasty lunchtime treats, the delivery industry needs to respond to ever-changing customer needs these days. What products do you want to sell, and what is the market demand for them? – These 2 are the main questions for any startup over the last year.
6. New green and sustainable food delivery options
Vegan food has become one of the most popular delivery trends of the last few years, with orders of plant-based cuisine increasing by an impressive 388%. Most foods can now be made vegan, from meat-free burgers to dairy-free pizzas.
As well as vegan food, people are looking for more sustainable, carbon-neutral solutions. For example, there are food waste apps available where customers can buy unsold meals at a fraction of the price they would sell for normally. People are also becoming more interested in locally grown and sourced food.
As mentioned above, delivery services are also looking at greener ways to deliver food to customers as well as no longer offering plastic straws and cutlery as standard.
So, how will you factor vegan and vegetarian foods into your delivery service, and what steps will you take to reduce your carbon footprint?
7. The growth of blockchain and cryptocurrencies
It is now easier than ever before to buy items with cryptocurrency, and this applies to delivering food too.
Based on the world’s tendencies, many online delivery apps now take cryptocurrency, with Subway, Burger King, and Pizza Hut accepting various types of crypto payment in exchange for food.
Companies like Uber Eats do not accept currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum at this moment in time but are likely to start taking them in the near future.
Will you accept cryptocurrencies, or do you prefer to use more traditional payment methods with your customers?
8. The rise of big data
Yes, knowledge is power, and data is helping food delivery companies better understand what customers want.
You would probably agree that data analytics can help make companies make more informed decisions, improve quality control and make the customer experience better.
For example, take the food app Munchery. Munchery uses data to find out which takeaway items are the most popular in a particular city. The app then passes this data through to local chefs so they can create customized menus that local customers can’t resist.
So, if you are looking to launch a food delivery startup, take the time to think about how you can use data to grow your business. What data do you want to collect, and how will you get it?
If you want to get involved in data collection and analysis, how will your startup help food delivery companies?
The food delivery industry is evolving all of the time, not only responding to changing customer needs but the external markets too.
If you are looking to move into fast food delivery, you will need to offer a service that your competitors don’t.
By being aware of the ever-changing trends and being willing to adapt, you will have the advantage.
So, if you are going to take anything away from this article, our top three tips are:
- Discover your unique selling point – what can you offer that your rivals can’t?
- Consider how you can ensure loyalty from your customers and continue to get their business;
- Look at ways you can optimise your delivery service and make your customers happy.
Need help with your new food delivery startup? You Are Launched is here to help
If you need a little extra support to get your food-based company to market, You Are Launched has the experience and skills you need.
We’ve been working with a range of lean startups, accelerators, and venture capital companies since 2014, helping them to grow.
We can help you refine your ideas, deliver a successful proof of concept, and help you get the funding you need to move your idea to the next level.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help you.