Food Delivery for 1 in 3 Italians. Consumer expectations


One in three Italians buys food on food delivery platforms. Consumption is increasing, as already noted in the Eurispes Italy 2020 report, but so are expectations.

Food delivery, growing market

Thirty-seven percent of Italians order meals delivered to their homes, using food delivery apps via phone or computer. The figure emerges from theColdiretti-Censis analysis, prepared on the occasion of the publication of the new Istat basket. Where this year, food delivery and sushi takeout were also included-among the goods and services benchmarked for inflation calculation.

The food delivery market-dominated by platforms such as Just Eat, Glovo, Foodora, Deliveroo, Chopsticks Forks, Uber Eats, to name the best known-already has 18.9 million Italians. Among them, 3.8 million buy food at home on a regular basis, another 15.1 million only occasionally. And it continues to grow, as was noted in 2019.

The demand is driven by Italians’ unwillingness to cook and tidy up the kitchen every day (57.3 percent). This is followed by the convenience of receiving friends and relatives at home without having to stay at the stove (34.1 percent) and sharing original dishes.

The expectations of Italian consumers

The Censis analysis also shows that the spread of consumption is accompanied by a growing expectation, on the part of Italian consumers. Towards the big food delivery platforms, but also towards their suppliers. In fact, the requests concern:

respect for the labor rights of riders, the deliverymen (38.1%),

Ensuring food safety in food transportation stages to avoid contamination and preserve food quality (28%),

The quality of ingredients used in meal preparation (25.3%),

the short supply chain, that is, the use of typical products and the use of local suppliers (17.7 percent).

In contrast, the environmental impact of the food delivery service has unfortunately not been considered. Instead, it deserves as much attention, considered:

– The systematic use of single-use plastic items (tableware), soon to be banned, among other things,

– the widespread use of aluminum trays, unsuitable among other things for contact with certain categories of food, as noted,

air pollution caused by the use of non-electric vehicles for deliveries.

The evolution of home delivery service, meanwhile, goes beyond ready-to-eat meals. According to the 2019 Delivery Report of Spain’s Glovo, which delivers various kinds of products to more than 100 Italian cities, orders grew 247 percent over 2018.

Demands are concentrated on weekdays. Sixty-six percent of orders are placed between Monday and Friday, the remaining 34 percent on the weekend. Deliveries are for purchases made at participating businesses. Still few, as ascertained by visiting Glovo’s website: pharmacies (only one in Rome), florists, a couple of undergarment chains, etc.

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".