Grocery Revolution – Surge Of App Downloads And VC Money Fuels Delivery Sector

by | May 11, 2021

New research from app marketing company App Radar, has found that more than half a billion food and grocery delivery app downloads globally in the past year, with the sector growing by estimated 33% during pandemic. UberEats leads the global battle, with 44 million new downloads, followed by foodpanda (31.8 million), iFood (20.8 mill) and Zomato (19.2 mill), Doordash (13.9 million) and Deliveroo (7 million). 

Supermarkets and established take away brands will be on edge as customers rush to sign up for a new wave of food and grocery delivery services. That includes apps like Getir and Gorillas which have both recently hit billion-dollar valuations, as well as a sea of competitors like Zappr, Weezy and Dija.

According to the research, German startup Gorilla’s has secured 112K global downloads since launch, while Flink (37K), Fancy (12.5K) and Zapp (11K) have also added users quickly in their markets. UK-based Beelivery which has been in the market since 2015 saw almost 110K downloads from March 2020 to March 2021 (64% of its total user base).

With the pandemic creating almost ideal market conditions for these types of apps, the race to secure a profitable business model and market share is well underway. While the surge of VC cash flooding into the market is creating waves across the sector, established brands have also benefited from these market conditions, with more and more users signing up for delivery services over the course of the last year.

In the UK, traditional grocery chains such as Tesco (1.2m), Sainsburys (497k), Morrisons (765k) and ASDA (964k) added significant numbers of users, as customers switched to online shopping. Fast food and takeaway companies such as McDonalds (1.7 mill) grew their UK users rapidly with Burger King (263,000) also performing well.

In Germany, supermarket chain Edeka’s Bringmeister delivery app added 29K users from March 2020 – March 2021, an almost 30% increase.

Meal kit companies HelloFresh (2 million global users) and UK rival Gousto (134K) also experienced huge growth, for Gousto that was a nearly 100% uplift on users since the Pandemic. Some of the largest increases have been for ethical food delivery companies. Too Good to Go surged by 7.8 million new users and Olio by 1.4 million. 

Thomas Kriebernegg, CEO and co-founder of App Radar, said: “When you look at the download numbers on a global scale it really is quite staggering. Nearly every country has simultaneously seen a seismic shift in how food and groceries are chosen, ordered and delivered. 

“As you would expect the likes of UberEats, Doordash and Deliveroo all performed well due to restaurants closing. However, what is more interesting is the balkanisation of the grocery delivery sector as well as the emergence of ethical food companies as an alternative to the big players. 

“Within the grocery market there’s a mix of established brands both growing their already significant online delivery base, launching their own ‘fast delivery’ services, and brand new startups seeking to compete on a local basis. How these different segments perform as we return to pre-2020 conditions will give us a good indication of whether consumer behaviour has changed permanently – which could spell the end for large bricks and mortar supermarkets – or if it’s a flash in the pan.”

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