Roy Morgan Research
August 09, 2022

Meal delivery services now used by over 7 million Australians after strong growth during the pandemic

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 9043

New research from Roy Morgan shows over 7 million Australians aged 14+ (33.4%) now use a meal delivery services in an average three months, up from 3.6 million (16.9%) in early 2020. Uber Eats is again the clear market leader used by 3.5 million Australians, up from 2.3 million in early 2020.

The use of meal delivery services such as Uber Eats, Menulog, DoorDash, HelloFresh and Deliveroo grew rapidly over the last two years of extended lockdowns around much of the country – and especially in the two largest States of New South Wales and Victoria.

A look at the different generations shows Millennials (born 1976-1990) and now aged from 31-46 years old, are the most likely to use a meal delivery service. Now 45.8% of Millennials use a meal delivery service in an average three months, more than doubling their usage since early 2020 (+24% points).

Just behind in second place is the youngest Generation Z (born 1991-2008) with 43% (up 17% points from early 2020) now using meal delivery services in an average three months.

Nearly a third of people in Generation X, 29.6%, now use meal delivery services, more than doubling from 14.4% of this generation in early 2020. The use of meal delivery services drops off sharply in the older generations aged over 60. Under one-in-six Baby Boomers (15.9%, up 8.5% points from early 2020) and only 12.3% (up 7.4% points) of Pre-Boomers used one of the services.

Australians who used meal delivery services by Generation – 2020 vs. 2021 vs. 2022

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: January – March 2020, n=10,852; January – March 2021, n=15,608; January – March 2022, n=15,880. Base: Australians aged 14+.

City dwellers far more likely to use meal delivery services than people living in the country

Nearly two-fifths of people living in the Capital Cities (38.3%) use meal delivery services, up from 21.1% in early 2020 – an increase of 17.2% points since the pandemic began. In contrast under a quarter of people living in Country Areas (24.1%) now use meal delivery services, however this figure has more than doubled, up by 15.1% points since early 2020.

Looking at the States shows the two which suffered the longest lockdowns during the pandemic have the highest use of meal delivery service led by NSW (36.6%) just ahead of Victoria (35.5%). Usage of meal delivery services is highest in Australia’s largest cities of Sydney (41.9%) and Melbourne (40.2%).

The usage of meal delivery services has increased across all States but is below a third of people in South Australia (32%), Western Australia (31.1%) and Queensland (28.8%). Under a fifth of people in Tasmania (18.7%) use meal delivery services in an average three months.

Uber Eats remains the market leader and is now used by nearly one-in-six Australians (16.5%) and this rises to around a quarter of Millennials (23.6%) and people in Generation Z (25.8%). There has been strong growth in the use of other meal delivery services such as Menulog, DoorDash, HelloFresh and Deliveroo which have all seen significant increases in usage of their services during the last two years.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the last two years have seen a swift rise in the number of people using meal delivery service apps such as Uber Eats, Menulog, DoorDash or Deliveroo as extensive pandemic lockdowns forced people to find new ways to order food and meals:

Block Quote

“Roy Morgan has been closely monitoring the usage of apps over the last decade as smartphones became almost ubiquitous across Australia. Over the last two years some of the biggest growth has been for meal delivery service apps as lockdowns enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 forced millions of Australians to spend extended periods of time at home.

“Now over 7 million Australians (33.4%) use meal delivery service apps in an average three months – almost double the rate in the first quarter of 2020 (16.9% – 3.6 million). The growth has been across all demographics over the last two years and there are still slightly more women (3.6 million) using meal delivery service apps than men (3.5 million).

“Unsurprisingly it is the younger generations who are the keenest adopters of the new technology with 45.8% of Millennials and 43% of Generation Z now using meal delivery service apps – up significantly from pre-pandemic. These two generations account for almost 5 million users of meal delivery service apps – just under 70% of the current market.

“Although the growth has been quickest among younger generations people of all ages are increasingly turning to the convenience of using meal delivery service apps. Now nearly a third of Generation X 29.6% (up 15.2% points in two years), almost one-in-six Baby Boomers 15.9% (up 8.5% points) and 12.3% (up 7.3% points) of Pre-Boomers use meal delivery service apps.

“Although the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic now appears over and lockdowns are (hopefully) a thing of the past, we have had several waves of the Omicron variant this year with the fourth wave peaking only recently in late July.

“The convenience of using meal delivery service apps, that many have used for the first time over the last two years, and the greater than ever risk of catching COVID-19 now, more than ever before, mean the popularity of meal delivery service apps is set to endure beyond the unique conditions of the pandemic.”

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Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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