New research from Roy Morgan shows over 5.5 million Australians aged 14+ (26.5%) used meal delivery services last year, up from 3.9 million (19.0%) in 2019 and 3.3 million (16.3%) in 2018.
The growth of meal delivery services such as Uber Eats, Menulog, HelloFresh, Deliveroo and DoorDash was ‘supercharged’ by a nation-wide lockdown in mid-2020 and an extended lockdown in the State of Victoria from July – October 2020.
The two youngest generations are the most likely to use meal delivery services and saw the biggest increases last year with well over a third of Millennials 37.2% (up 9.7% points from 2019) and Generation Z 37.2% (up 6.9% points) using meal delivery services in an average three months.
However, despite increasing usage amongst all generations, the use of meal delivery services drops off sharply for those aged 45 and over in the older generations. Just over one-in-five people in Generation X (21.7%) used a meal delivery service in 2020, an increase of 6.7% points from 2019 while only 11.4% (up 5.3% points) of Baby Boomers and 9% (up 4.9% points) of Pre-Boomers used one of the services.
Australians who used meal delivery services by Generation – 2018 vs. 2019 vs. 2020
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: January – December 2018, n=50,853; January – December 2019, n=50,422; January – December 2020, n=61,294. Base: Australians aged 14+.
Women more likely to use meal delivery services than men across all age groups
Women are more likely to use meal delivery services (27.9%) than men (24.9%) with the highest usage for both genders among those aged 25-34 with 45.2% of women and 43.1% of men in that age group using the services. Women are more likely to use the services in all age groups.
City-dwellers (31.6%) are far more likely to have had their meals delivered than those in country areas (16.6%) and the long second lockdown in Victoria has propelled Melbourne (36.1%) ahead of Sydney (31.7%) and Perth (29.0%) as the place where people are most likely to use meal delivery services.
UberEATS remains the market leader and is now used by 12.8% of Australians including over 1-in-5 of both Generation Z and Millennials. Other leading meal delivery services such as Menulog, Deliveroo and HelloFresh and DoorDash have also seen significant increases in usage of their services.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns around Australia have provided a huge boost to meal delivery services with over 5.5 million people now using a service like Uber Eats, Menulog, Deliveroo or DoorDash to order a meal:
“Roy Morgan has closely monitored the usage of apps over the last few years. The lockdowns enforced to halt the spread of COVID-19 have provided the perfect environment for the rapid growth of meal delivery service apps such as Uber Eats, Menulog, Deliveroo, HelloFresh and DoorDash – which launched in Australia in late 2019 just before the pandemic began.
“Over a quarter of Australians used meal delivery services in 2020 and this spiked to well over a third of both Millennials and Generation Z (37.2% of both). These two generations account for almost 4 million users of meal delivery services – or over 70% of the current market.
“These results indicate where growth has been strongest and shows older generations haven’t taken to using these meal delivery services at anything like the same rates as their kids and grandkids. Around one-in-five of those in Generation X (21.7%) used meal delivery services in 2020 dropping to only 11.4% of Baby Boomers and just 9% of Pre-Boomers.
“The usage of meal delivery services is also almost twice as likely in Australia’s capital cities (31.6%) than country regions (16.6%) and it is no surprise to see that 36.1% of Melburnians have used the services – far ahead of any other city.
“So far during 2021 there have been short lockdowns in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and a longer three-week localised lockdown of Sydney’s Northern Beaches and the threat of further lockdowns remains ever present – as the latest outbreak and seven-day lockdown in Melbourne shows.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will continue to support usage of meal delivery services throughout the remainder of this year and even into 2022 as the vaccination program continues around Australia.
“The challenge for meal delivery services will come when the great majority of Australians have been vaccinated against the virus and our way of life begins to resemble what it was pre-COVID-19 on a sustainable basis.”
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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%|