Demand for food delivery remains strong in post-lockdown world

The value for food delivery services has reached an all-time high in the UK, with spending from consumers estimated to reach over £11bn in 2021.

The trend, which has been increasing steadily for nearly a decade, had the pandemic-induced lockdowns to thank for a further boost in demand, as consumers’ spending and dining choices shifted drastically to online and contactless means.

But it seems that the reliance on food delivery has been all but habitualised for consumers even in a post-lockdown Britain.

One of the leading food delivery services, Deliveroo which covers nearly three-quarters of the UK, has seen its orders double in the first half of 2021 alone, with orders reaching nearly 150 million.

These digital-first online services introduced the delivery of groceries from shops like Aldi and Londis in late 2020 to meet the demand from an increasingly quarantining population of shoppers.

Aldi, which has never expanded into its own home food delivery services like most of its closest competitors, partnered exclusively with Deliveroo in May of 2020 to get “a range of essentials delivered to [consumers’] doors, on-demand, by a Deliveroo rider in as little as under 30 minutes” according to the FAQ page on the Aldi website.

Harrison Jones is the owner and founder of organic food company Equals Health, whose frozen products are delivered to homes nationwide.

He said: “Customers rely on food delivery for a number of reasons; convenience, speed and great taste being 3 main drivers. Unfortunately though, neither of those 3 elements traditionally lend themselves to nutritious food. We saw the demand for food delivery, and we spotted the gap for a 100% organic food business - and that’s when Equals Health was born.

“The idea was simple - make it as delicious as a take away, as convenient as a take away, but when it came to nutrition it needed to be far superior. I’m delighted that we were able to achieve that.”

Takeaways have been a popular form of British dining culture for many years even before the tech-forward online delivery services began to grip the market in the early 2010’s.

Besides the aspect of convenience, ordering in food has largely been used as an end of week celebration or as a means of bringing family together.

With the emergence of online delivery services dedicated to restaurant delivery, the market has entered a new era of food delivery, away from weekly leisure and more towards a convenience service for those busy with work, family or other obligations.

“People are working later, longer hours, at more demanding jobs. I really wanted to give those people other options when it came to lunch and dinner time. A take away needn’t be the only answer.

“I wanted to revolutionise the frozen, ready-meal. I wanted to take it away (pardon the pun) from being boring and bland, and have it rival - better yet, exceed - the quality and taste of a delicious take away. Pop an Equals Health frozen meal in the freezer for 7 minutes and you’ve got a delicious, nutritious, chef-made meal ready to go. That’s quicker than any Deliveroo I’ve ever ordered!