15 February 2022, 07:10 AM
  • Delivery apps are no longer just for takeaways, writes Zhong Xu, co-founder and CEO of Deliverect. Fine food retailers and FMCG brands are throwing their hats in the ring as the sector booms
How to cash in on the food delivery trend

The last year has accelerated change and digitalisation, crucial for the food and beverage sector’s long-term survival. It’s no surprise that the food delivery industry has increased in consumer popularity and demand. A 2021 report from Just Eat Takeaway.com observed a 79% increase in online orders in the first quarter of last year – nearly double its predicted growth rate – as the boom in eating at home during the coronavirus pandemic continued around the world. 

At Deliverect, we saw this come to life when we found ourselves helping process more than one and a half million orders per week in 2021, a 750% increase from the year before. Even more staggering: the UK online food delivery sector’s revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 9.60%, resulting in a projected market volume of £11,762m by 2025, according to Statista’s Online Food Delivery Eservices Report 2021. So it’s safe to say that online food delivery is only just getting started and will continue to grow.

Today, food retailers are looking for ways to thrive, which includes more digital ordering options to attract new customers. Many business owners want to sell more easily and to reach more customers with less hassle. With an ever-changing external landscape spelling a permanent change for the industry in 2022, retailers need to speedily keep up with the year’s forthcoming trends to ensure their brands remain prosperous and ready to get through any challenge.

The growth of FMCG delivery
Whilst observing the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) space, we’re starting to see new and emerging brands enter the market outside of traditional restaurants and eateries. There’s been an increased demand of FMCG suppliers (like supermarkets, delis, and food manufacturers) looking to connect with their customers through delivery apps. 

Delivery apps are no longer just for takeaways. Building a direct-to-consumer business model will soon be the norm for our favourite artisanal food brands. Increasingly, FMCG brands are looking towards trends in online ordering and home delivery to keep on top of consumer demand and stay relevant.

To stand out amongst the crowd FMCG brands need to start thinking outside of the box. In 2022, we will likely see more FMCG delivery brands play up unique offerings such as at-home meal kits, multi-course dinners to assemble at home, takeaway drinks packages and mixologist kits amongst other new ideas. 

For retailers competing for attention in urban centers, speed of delivery is becoming the differentiator rather than price. Quick commerce, or Q-commerce, offers customers a new level of convenience, where items are delivered within minutes rather than days. 

Looking ahead there is huge investment pouring into Q-commerce, as the delivery market is set to continue its blistering growth to reach almost $200 billion by 2025. Some experts believe Q-commerce will replace traditional delivery models soon, driven by customer demand and expectations. 

This means huge opportunities for early retail adopters. Q-commerce relies upon the trifecta of urban warehouses, on-demand delivery drivers, and customer proximity. Finding the right location for your operations is the key to success. But choosing the right location within dense urban centers is a challenge, especially with competitors vying for the same customers. Q-commerce brands rely on data gathered from multiple sources to determine which areas to target. And as brands use the model, they will need to constantly monitor the data they’re getting and make decisions accordingly.

Think fine food
The delivery industry is constantly evolving. Not so long ago the first takeaway marketplaces allowed us to order pizza online. In 2022 you can get a multi-course fine-dining meal delivered to your home at the touch of a button, which will soon become the norm. 

In the current climate, food retailers can take inspiration from fine dining restaurants who, over the last couple of years, have experimented and invested time and resources in taking their delivery offering ‘to next level’ to truly match their usual in-dining experience. For example, Belgian based Italian eatery, Bavet, began placing stickers on every delivery order for Father’s Day that customers could scan with their mobile phone linking to a music playlist specially compiled for the occasion; mirroring the ambient experience that usually takes place while dining-in.

As these habits continue to solidify in a post-pandemic world, there is a sizable revenue boost to be gained from delivery and takeaway orders, without compromising customer experience and quality. With the help of third-party partners, teams are able to focus on adapting, pivoting and, most importantly, enhancing their customer experience to keep their hungry customers coming back for more.