The unstoppable rise of the takeaway delivery phenomenon means the market is now worth £4.2 billion, up 73% in a decade

NPD says delivery will grow 17% over next two years with British consumers spending nearly £5 billion annually

London, April 19th 2018 – Global information company The NPD Group says there is no stopping the delivery phenomenon that continues to shake up Britain’s takeaway foodservice industry. Over the past decade, the takeaway delivery market has grown from £2.4 billion to a burgeoning channel worth £4.2 billion as of February 2018, a 73% increase.

The aggregators – such as Deliveroo, JUST EAT, hungryhouse and UberEATS – have been the catalyst for this growth. They have levelled the playing field, allowing smaller independents to compete more effectively with the bigger foodservice chains. The NPD Group believes takeaway delivery will grow a further 17% in value over the next two years and could be worth as much as £5 billion by then.

The UK’s favourite foods for delivery in 2017 according to The NPD Group

Chinese 179 million servings
Pizza 171 million servings
Burgers 82 million servings
Curry 70 million servings


Cyril Lavenant, Head of Foodservice UK in the NPD Group, commented: “Delivery is a big hit with consumers – thanks to the aggregators they now have a very large choice of restaurants at their fingertips. It is also a great marketing platform, especially for independent restaurants that can’t afford to spend on advertising.  Phone apps and websites also make it easier for consumers to order full meals from a variety of cuisines. Just one aggregator could offer a choice from either burgers, or chicken, or Indian, or Chinese, and much more. It’s all there at the click of a button.”

Six facts you didn’t know about the unstoppable rise of food delivery

  1. Delivery orders up: Orders grew by +20% in visits in the two years to February 2018, that’s some 20 times faster than for the overall foodservice industry.
  2. 10 takeaway deliveries per person: In the year ending February 2018, there were 673 million deliveries, nearly 6.0% of the total British eat-out or out-of-home (OOH) market. This is equivalent to everybody in Britain ordering 10 pizza takeaway deliveries each year.
  3. 46% of delivery is still by phone: Although online is catching up, with 38% of orders, while apps make up the remaining 16%. But expect app orders to race ahead – in two years they have increased threefold.
  4. Pizza is not so hot: While pizza delivery is in second place, it is not growing as quickly as the takeaway delivery market. Pizza’s share has dropped three percentage points in 2017 versus 2016.
  5. Burgers are still sizzling: But British consumers love burgers knocking on their front door. Burgers are among the delivery winners, accounting for 60% more deliveries in 2017 than 2016. 
  6. Chips with everything: Chips are making their way into many a delivery box as they are now present in nearly 16% of all delivery visits.

Cyril Lavenant added: “Larger foodservice operators are responding well to the takeaway delivery boom but know they need to manage the demand very carefully. With consumers spending around half as much as when they visit a restaurant in person – people typically cut out starters, desserts and drinks – a delivery order is potentially less lucrative to a large foodservice business and can reduce an operator’s profitability. Restaurants also must pay commission to the delivery company, and this impacts profits too. Whatever way you look at it, takeaway delivery is definitely changing the shape of Britain’s foodservice industry.”

Related Content
Eat-Out-to-Help-Out Pushes Foodservice Activity to Highest Level Since COVID-19
Eat-Out-to-Help-Out Pushes Foodservice Activity to Highest Level Since COVID-19

Consumer spend in the British out-of-home foodservice market during the week ending Sunday August 30 reached 63% of the pre-COVID-19 level seen at the start of the year.

British foodservice industry shows early signs of recovery
British foodservice industry shows early signs of recovery

There is clear evidence of a slow but encouraging recovery in the British out-of-home (OOH) foodservice market, weekly spend recovered to 50% of the levels seen before the COVID-19 lockdown.

Britain’s foodservice spend was  -80% down in April 2020
Britain’s foodservice spend was -80% down in April 2020

The NPD Group says weekly spend in British foodservice in April 2020 was just over £200 million, compared to April 2019’s weekly spend level of around £1 billion pounds – a fall of -80%.

Consumer Sentiment in U.K. - COVID-19’s Impact
Consumer Sentiment in U.K. - COVID-19’s Impact

Although U.K. consumer shopping behaviours have changed because of the COVID-19 crisis, there are clear indicators that consumers are willing to return to stores and restaurants under the right circumstances.

Press Contact

Cyril Lavenant
+44 20 8237 1306

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.

To find out more see our privacy policy.

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice | Cookie Settings.

Follow Us

© 2020 The NPD Group, Inc.