Where did that come from?

Mar 22, 2024


Grocery. Where did that come from?

In the olden days platforms delivered takeaway food. Since 2020 however they have expanded and customers can now order a much wider array of goods, including groceries.

These days grocery orders account for 10-15% of deliveries on most of the platforms and is the bit which is growing (restaurant orders have been falling for the past two years).

Adding in direct sales from their own apps (Whoosh, Chop Chop etc.) this means, there are a whopping 60-80 million on-demand grocery orders worth an estimated £2bn each year in the UK.

Most of the grocers sell through the platforms while also using their delivery services. Some, like Sainsbury's (Chop Chop), Zapp, Gopuff also sell direct through their own app while using a mixture of their own drivers and third parties, like Stuart. Tesco are the only company which only sells direct though they use Uber Direct for delivery, along with Stuart.

Here’s our best estimate of who’s selling where (please correct us if we've made a mistake):

Which are the busiest places?

It varies a bit by platform and city but Co-op takes the top spot.

These are our best estimates for the biggest grocery chains on each app:

What are the busiest days and times for groceries?

As a driver, one of the key differences between grocery and restaurant orders is that they are busy at different times. Friday is the busiest day for restaurant orders but Sunday (and Monday!) is for groceries.

Restaurant orders are concentrated in the evening rush whereas grocery orders are more evenly distributed throughout the day.

Do grocery orders pay more?

None of the platforms explain how fees are calculated so unpicking differences is always tricky.

Overall grocery orders pay on average more for each minute you spend on them. This is probably because the pick-up is generally quicker (no waiting “2 more minutes” for the food to be ready).

Are they better or worse than restaurant orders?

Without having to deal with overwhelmed kitchens and stressed out waiting staff, grocery orders have rapid pick-ups and staff are generally more helpful.

Which orders are better overall?

Grocery deliveries involve less wait time, a better pick-up experience and are more likely to be busy in quiet periods (they also probably involve fewer leaking drinks 🥤) . On the other hand they can be bulky and carrying 24 bottles of water on a bicycle is no joke.

What do you think? Let us know in the feed.