Market insight: Delivering results

Delivery and takeaway services are driving permanent soft drink revenues in foodservice, according to Britvic’s latest report..

Foodservice businesses have found strong and growing revenue streams in delivery following the pandemic, according to Britvic’s 2022 Soft Drinks Review. This in turn has unlocked a significant opportunity to bolster soft drinks sales from consumers who have incorporated the format into their everyday lives.

After moving into delivery out of necessity to continue trading during the pandemic, foodservice outlets have opened new and permanent revenues, which grew by 50% in 2020. Volume sales rose by a further 6.5% in 2021, adding £0.7bn of additional revenue.

Nearly a third (29%) of delivery occasions now contain a soft drink, with a high proportion of orders including a combination of food and drink, as consumers add on sales to justify delivery fees or negate them by reaching a value threshold.

Food and drink delivery is expected to grow by 5.3% in 2022, showing the format isn’t slowing, providing foodservice businesses with £13.3 billion of revenue. Even after lockdown restrictions eased, consumers made delivery part of their repertoire, increasing orders by 9% in the 12 weeks to 23rd January 2022.

Delivery accounted for £2 in every £10 spent in foodservice in 2021 and is on an upward trajectory as many consumers maintain their order-in habits post-pandemic. In the past, foodservice delivery had relied on the ‘treat’ occasion, usually in the evenings and at weekends, but now Brits are ordering meals to their homes during the day and are doing so on most occasions to have a better work/life balance.

The number of people ordering lunch at home to spend more time with their partner has increased by 27% since 2020. Almost a third (29%) are ordering at dinner time because they have no food in the house, while another 26% are ordering in to spend more time with family and friends.

“Clearly, foodservice has changed its relevance in households across the UK following the pandemic,” said Katy Watts, head of channel development (foodservice and licensed) for Britvic. “It has become a part of people’s everyday lives as more options and delivery services have emerged, making it more accessible and permissible for people to order-in the brands they’d buy from when out of home.

“There is more room for growth within the format, especially when it comes to meal deals, as big brands with long-established presence in the market are dominating, achieving 57% share of delivery occasions, increasing to almost 80% when soft drinks are included. Quick-service restaurants capitalise on soft drink delivery due to the availability of meal deals that often include soft drinks. Meal deals and box formats continue to prove popular and are easier for customers to order than selecting multiple options.”

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