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10 Food Delivery Industry Trends for 2024

Andrey Blond

Andrey Blond

Head of Sales

15 min

The food delivery industry has exploded over the last 10 years. Lots of companies globally have captured a big piece of this booming market.

People’s busy, fast-paced lives worldwide are why this huge market keeps growing. And the COVID-19 pandemic has made people even more reliant on food delivery.

BusinessWire estimates the global food delivery market will hit $154 billion in 2024.

Many promising food delivery trends have come up and are ready to take off.

Here are 10 top online food ordering trends the world will see in the coming years.

Key Food Delivery Trends Stats

To have a good overview of the profitability, and potential in this sector, we’ll elucidate some statistics to consider.

Food delivery usage has been growing at an astronomical rate, and here are statistics to show that:

Now that you know that the sector is growing, let’s educate you on top delivery to key into the market. Let’s dig in.

10 Major Food Delivery Trends for 2024

Food-related firms are no longer limited to labor anymore. They are employing some ingenious trends that are making online food delivery faster and more reliable.

1. Tech Giants Entering the Market

It started in 2017 when Amazon acquired Whole Foods. Afterward, Uber launched its food delivery platform named Ubereats. This trend of tech giants entering the space has never stopped since. And, we expect this trend to continue in 2023. 

Google has also integrated food delivery in Search, Assistant, and Maps recently. The tech giants don’t seem to stop expanding and exploring new niches.

Examples and Proofs In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods, a multinational supermarket chain focusing on selling organic food items. 

In 2019, Google integrated food delivery into its services, Search, Assistant, and Maps, to be precise. 

Uber launching Ubereats is also one of the live proofs of this trend. Their growth shows the prospects.

Opportunities The entrance of tech giants in the market like Google, Amazon, and Uber shows the industry’s growth prospects. 

Even though their entrance has increased the competition to a certain level, it also provides opportunities to the small vendors. Since most companies serve as a platform for delivery, many sellers now have more options to deliver food online than before.

Tech Giants entering is one of the key food delivery trends in 2021

2. Direct Restaurant Delivery

Chick-fil-A now has its food delivery fleet. Many other restaurants and fast food chains prefer having their delivery fleet instead of relying on third-party platforms. They prefer in-house delivery because the platforms limit their capacity to differentiate from the competition and other small participants.

The trend of delivering food directly to the user without involving any third party is here to stay for the big names. Although, there is a tiny number of small restaurants that prefer in-house delivery over platforms and use restaurant web builder services.

Examples and Proofs Chick-fil-A, in 2019, tested their delivery system

Apart from this, many food chains like McDonald’s, KFC, and Domino’s all have their delivery systems in place.

Opportunities This trend has given rise to two opportunities. One, the restaurant that launches its delivery fleet receives more revenue from deliveries.

The other opportunity is that for the other participants who are on platforms such as Ubereats. They will have little competition and will earn more.

Delivery from the restaurant is one of the key food delivery trends in 2021

3. Grocery Delivery

This is inevitable. This has to happen, now or later.  Customers want more and more convenience. Everything should be at their fingertips. 

Pandemic and stay-at-home orders have only fueled this up. 

Global giants and multinational corporations like Amazon and Walmart entering into this space show how big of a trend this is!

This trend is subject to growth, and we shall see many more online grocery stores opening soon. 

Examples and Proofs In 2017, Amazon launched the beta version of its online grocery store, AmazonFresh, for its prime members. 

Following the trend, Walmart also launched express delivery for its online grocery store.

Opportunities Even the giants like Amazon and Walmart stepping into the market may seem like there are very few opportunities, but it’s not the case. 

These big companies still don’t seem to cover the rural areas and all neighborhoods. It is only possible if any local grocery store provides a delivery service. If you own a local grocery store or plan to open one, including the option for online delivery will be a great idea.

Delivery of grocery items is one of the key food delivery trends in 2021

4. Drone Delivery

Online Food delivery by drones is one of the coolest trends that have been tested by many firms around the world. Since 2012, many firms have taken the initiative to deliver meals to their customers via a drone.

Examples and Proofs Domino delivered pizzas to its customers in 2016 in New Zealand via a drone.

Zomato, a food distribution firm, delivered meals via its drone in 10 minutes. It carried a payload of 5 kg across 5 km at 80kmph. Zomato acquired drone startup TechEagle for undertaking this task.

Moreover, many other USA firms like Google, Amazon, and Uber are also working to adapt these Food delivery trends.

As most of the food delivery firms are moving towards drone delivery in 2024, we can say that it is one of the rising trends for the industry.

Opportunities Food delivery by drone is a great way to deliver food. You can hold a number of deliveries in less time. Moreover, it also eliminates the hassle of being stuck in heavy traffic.

Moreover, the governments of various countries have also allowed firms to begin to test-fly drones amid precautionary guidelines.

This has provided an opportunity for firms to follow these trends of distribution and online food ordering and make their food business a success.

To improvise, you can add various other features in the drone, such as integrating a payment system, insulated compartment, voice commands, etc.

These features can help your brand grow faster with respect to the food delivery trends 2024.

the image shows the delivery of food by drone

5. Robot Delivery

The meal delivery industry is not just limited to drones. It has moved beyond that, and one of the innovative online food delivery trends of 2024 also involves robots.

With the rise of AI in the current and future tech applications, firms have allowed technology to handle a part of their business. Not only delivery but there are many other new online food ordering trends.

Examples and Proofs Doordash, an American food delivery firm, harnessed the power of one of the trends in food delivery to offer delivery through robots in 2019.

Starship technologies started their service in Milton Keynes. Before that, they used their 6-wheeled robots for testing these food delivery trends in London and also deployed them on the campuses of various offices in California, USA.

An American meal distribution firm, Eat24 tied up with Marble(a tech startup) and Yelp in 2017 to launch a food delivery robot.

So, as we can see that there are many firms that are stepping up to work on these trends to make food delivery better in the USA and other countries. It is the best time for you to launch your own product.

Opportunities With the introduction of these trends in the food delivery industry, firms can benefit a lot. For example, unlike human riders, robots will help firms save a lot of money in transit.

Moreover, firms can make multiple sales in a single robot with individual compartments. This will further reduce the distribution time and help you cover more ground in one trip. You can also implement various trends in online food ordering.

These are some of the best additions that you can make to the distribution robots and make your business grow. Thus, making this trend one of the best food delivery trends USA.

the image shows the food delivery trends such as delivering by robots

6. Contactless Delivery

This is one of the most prominent trends in food delivery these days. After the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is maintaining social distancing. And this has led many firms to adapt to one of the safest food delivery trends 2024.

By incorporating contactless meal distribution in the process, firms are assuring the complete security of meals.

Examples and Proofs Just like various trends of online food delivery, Grubhub follows one of the unique online food ordering trends.

After ordering their meals on the Grubhub, users get a choice to get contactless delivery. In this, the agent just leaves the meal package at your doorsteps.

Ubereats has also followed the contactless food delivery trends USA while keeping the safety of its customers in mind. The users can request to keep their order at their doorstep to ensure contactless delivery.

Apart from these, there are many other firms all around the world implementing contactless distribution. There is also a rise in various trends in online food ordering.

Opportunities There is a lot of potential in this food distribution concept these days. Among the other trends in the food delivery industry, contactless distribution is more preferred by users currently.

Moreover, this concept will not fade anytime soon. So if you are looking for one of the best food delivery trends of 2024, go for this one.

the image shows the contactless food delivery

7. Virtual Kitchens

Virtual kitchens are also known as cloud kitchens that only produce delivery, only meals. These are also one of the profitable trends in food delivery in 2024.

All you need is enough area for setting up your kitchen without any dining space. It will not only save you money but also manage the order distribution process effectively.

Examples and Proofs Keatz is a European startup that produces delivery-only meals for its customers. Users only need to order the meals on the Ubereats or Deliveroo app. So, far it has raised €19.4 million by leveraging these trends in the food delivery industry.

Kitchen United is yet another virtual kitchen that only offers meals for distribution. They have their distribution-only services in 4 states across the USA. It has raised $50 million so far by implementing one of these trends of food delivery in the USA.

There are many other innovative startups that have adapted this concept among various other food delivery trends 2024.

The sole purpose behind these startups is to provide ready to eat dishes in less time.

Moreover, this trend of delivery-only meals has posed a challenge to the restaurant industry.

Opportunities The trend of virtual kitchens is picking up the pace right now. So, if you have an idea of starting your food business, you can opt for this one. It is one of the prime and beneficial trends of food delivery 2024.

The future opportunities of this business are endless, as there is less upfront investment. Moreover, it is one of the most advantageous online food delivery trends.

The reason behind this is that you can tie up with multiple shipment agencies to expand your service area.

In addition to this, you can also expand your business quickly as there is less investment required in the beginning.

the image shows the virtual kitchens

8. Crowdsourced Delivery

The process of recruiting drivers and retaining them can be a bit tough for distribution firms. Moreover, you cannot always be certain about the traffic on the way. So, it is better to choose to crowdsource. Crowdsourcing is one of the efficient trends in food delivery industry.

You can leverage the local drivers of the distribution area. Post this; you can use them to deliver the meal way before time. This will speed up your meal distribution process. There are many firms that are working like this.

Examples and Proofs DoorDash is a firm that has adapted this concept among other food delivery trends USA for a long time now. It has been the fastest meal delivery startups in growth. It serves all the 50 states of the US. Last year, Doordash raised around $500 million in a venture funding round.

Grubhub is also a US-based startup working on the concept of crowdsourcing. In 2018, it raised around 200 million from a Post-IPO Equity funding round. It has been acquired by Takeaway.com.

Now, these funding figures are clear indicators of the success of these distribution firms. And these make crowdsourcing one of the promising food delivery trends 2024.

Opportunities Well, as the benefits are already discussed. There are some opportunities for you to further improve your crowdsourcing.

You can opt for allotting multiple deliveries to drivers of a single location. If we look at the current scenario, it is also possible to make the deliveries contactless. The coupling of these trends of food delivery USA with each other is like a cherry on the cake.

9. Self-Driving Delivery

The concept of driverless cars has been in the market for some time now. And it has always kept business firms interested in it. This is the reason why it is on this list of top online food delivery trends.

Examples and Proofs DoorDash is touching almost all the fresh trends in food delivery. Earlier this year, the firm formed an alliance with General Motors to test self-driving cars to deliver meals to the customers. They planned to test those cars in San Francisco.

Other than DoorDash, there are various other firms that are moving towards this trend.

As per Allied Market, the global market of autonomous vehicles is expected to hit the $556.67 billion mark by the year 2026.

So, it is crystal clear that autonomous vehicles are one of the coolest trends to come in food delivery 2024. They can reduce human intervention and boost ROI.

Opportunities Autonomous vehicles are one of those trends of online food delivery that are not active yet. But, they have a lot of potential in the future as they save a lot of time and workforce.

Investing in this concept can be a bit expensive in the beginning. But, once implemented, they will serve for a long time. Along with food delivery trends USA, there is also a rise in the online food ordering trends.

These trends of online food ordering offer you the choice to opt for distribution by self-driving cars.

the image shows the food delivery by self driving cars

10. Parachute Delivery

It is a bit odd to see your favorite dish delivered by parachutes, right! But, it is one of the demanding trends to be implemented in food delivery in 2024. Not yet so active, but there are some companies in the world that are harnessing the power of this trend.

Examples and Proofs Well, this is a bit of an old trend. An Australian startup Jafflechutes started delivering jaffles to its customers through parachutes. All the user needs to do is order the meal and wait near the giant X marked on the street.

Post their crowdfunding campaign in Australia that raised over $5,300. The funding and success of one of the awesome trends of online food delivery encouraged the startup to expand. They headed towards New York to serve flying sandwiches.

Now, the concept is not yet so popular. But it has the potential to be one of the successful food delivery trends in the USA and other countries.

Opportunities Now, there are a number of online food ordering trends and food delivery trends in 2024. But, the trend of parachute delivery has some downsides that you can improve.

The concept of parachute distribution is reliant on some environmental factors. It is pretty obvious that if you are ordering distribution by platform, it gets diverted by wind or gets stuck in a cable.

It is essential to make sure that you choose an area that is not prone to many obstacles. Moreover, you can also make your parachute a bit advanced. It will help you harness the power of these trends in food delivery.

the image shows the food delivery by parachutes

Now, these are some of the best trends for online food delivery. Other than this, there are some additional trends that augment the delivery aspect. One of the prime trends is online food ordering. Ordering and delivery go hand in hand, faster you order, faster will be the delivery. So, it is essential to follow the fresh trends of ordering also.

Top Online Food Ordering Trends

1. Eco-Friendly Delivery

Eco-friendly food delivery entails a food ordering service that prioritizes environmental sustainability and optimizes its use in the most ideal way possible. The primary aim of this model is to reduce the contribution of food delivery to global warming. 

Eco-friendly delivery became popular in Europe in 2016-2017 with the launch of Foodora. Other parts of the world got in somewhat later, while some nations are yet to embrace the idea. 

This trend is poised to be a major one in 2024 as research shows that consumers have a preference for sustainable products and are in fact, willing to pay more for them. 

Examples and Proofs In 2020, DoorDash collaborated with rePurpose Global, a sustainability-focused startup to get rid of CO2 emissions from its operations. 

One of the reasons why there’s a growing preference for scooters, and electric bikes is that they reduce Co2 emissions by 80%

FedEx pledged to replace all its delivery and pickup fleets with battery-powered ones by 2040. 

Opportunities  The growing preference for sustainable products and services creates an ideal ecosystem for eco-friendly food delivery startups. 

It has also created an avenue to partner with sustainable producers, and final consumers on item recycling. 

the image shows eco-friendly food delivery

2. Crowdsourced Drivers

Crowdsourcing is a trend that entails tapping into a pool of independent delivery personnel to fulfill orders. Tech advancement plays a major role in making this model trend. Companies use powerful algorithms to match drivers to customers based on location.

The model first became a popular concept in the gig economy in 2012 with Lyft and Uber. However, it started becoming popular in food delivery due to its quick delivery offering.

Examples and Proofs Uber Eats’s revenue reached $10.9 billion in revenue, in comparison to $8.3 billion in 2021. In 2023, the trend is expected to continue as demand for food delivery services is increasing.

Another company depicting this trend is Door Dash. Just like Uber eats, DoorDash is a crowdsourcing company that has enjoyed noteworthy growth in the past years. In 2022, the company enjoyed a 34% revenue growth.

Opportunities Crowdsourced delivery is asset-light. As such, the entry cost is low as startups simply need to onboard independent delivery persons.

3. Food Subscription Services

A food delivery subscription plan is a service where you subscribe to have meals scheduled for delivery at your doorstep. It could be a monthly delivery plan covering all meals for the month, or only a single meal/day for a scheduled period.

An example of a food delivery company that fits this category is Sunbasket. The company is one of the most popular food delivery subscription services. Let’s discuss examples and opportunities in the sector:

Examples and Proofs  Sun Basket has grown by over 80% between 2017 and late 2022. Sunbasket enjoys this immense growth primarily due to its unique supply chain that ensures the delivery of fresh products.

Another example here is Home Chef, a company founded in 2013 with over $500 million in revenue in 2022. Both statistics here are a testament to the business model’s trending nature.

Opportunities  Food delivery subscriptions are gradually becoming a thing, as the global meal delivery subscription service is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% from 2022 to 2030.
the image shows the food delivery subscriptions

4. Meal Kit Delivery

Meal Kit delivery service is a subscription-based delivery plan where a company sends partially-prepared or pre-portioned meals to be fully cooked by the customers.

Examples and Proofs  This industry was estimated to be worth $6.9 billion in 2021. It’s expected that it’ll generate over $10 billion in sales by 2024.

As of Feb 2020, HelloFresh and Blue Apron were top-two leading meal kit delivery services in the US. Both have a 70% market share.

Blue Apron’s revenue grew by over 758% between 2014 and 2020.

HelloFresh’s revenue grew by more than 1,738% between 2014 and 2020

Opportunities  The opportunities here are enormous: for one, it gives customers a convenient way to get high-quality ingredients delivered to their doorstep.

And according to a McKinsey report showing that at least 50% of consumers prioritize healthy eating.

A meal-kit delivery service for providing healthy ingredients can make your startup stand out.

the image shows the meal-kit delivery services

5. Voice Assistant Ordering

The use of virtual assistants is among the top trends in food delivery and ordering these days. This has made Alexa, and Amazon virtual assistants have become the best friends of foodies around the world.

Examples and Proofs Domino Facebook messenger bot Dom helps users to order pizza with an emoji or text.

Moreover, online food delivery startups like Grubhub and Justeat have also harnessed the power of these trends.

They have integrated with Alexa and other virtual assistants to take orders through the user’s voice.

Opportunities For you, it is a great thing. You can seamlessly automate the process of receiving orders using this trend. Moreover, it also eases the process of ordering lunch for customers.

These factors make it one of the finest trends of online food ordering.

the image shows the food ordering by virtual assistant

6. Smartwatch Ordering

Examples and Proofs As there has been a massive surge in the market of smartwatches. Online Food delivery firms have started harnessing the power of these trends in 2024.

Dominos introduced their app for android smartwatches to ease their ordering process.

Moreover, Order up also launched its app for Apple Watch to order and track the delivery.

Opportunities It is not always easy to keep your phone in your hand. But, the wristwatch is always there.

So, it is a better option to order meal by the watch. This is one of the best trends in the food delivery industry.

the image shows the virtual ordering by smartwatch

7. In-Car Ordering

This trend is not that popular right now. But, it is one of the potential trends in food delivery in the USA and other countries for the future.

Examples and Proofs Pizza hut has made an alliance with Accenture and Visa to make an in-car pizza ordering system.

This allows the customers to order pizza while keeping their hands on the wheel.

Opportunities You can implement this method in your business startup. The probability of success is also high.

It will allow users to order dinner on the way back from their office. This will help them save a lot of time.

These are some of the top online food ordering trends that will revolutionize the delivery industry.

Get Ahead of the Game – Build Your Own App

The online food delivery market is red-hot as consumers increasingly order meals online. Now is the optimal time to launch a business catering to these top delivery trends.

Having the right technical partner is crucial in the food delivery industry. You need an experienced app development team that can create a scalable, secure, and intuitive platform tailored to your business model.

At SpdLoad, our experts have over a decade of experience crafting successful delivery apps.

We can have an MVP built and tested in just a few months. Unsure about our track record? Check our project portfolio and testimonials from past clients.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help launch your food delivery empire.

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