While the most ordered items are pizza, burgers and sushi, online orders for gelato and poke are growing exponentially, This is how food delivery in 2020 is panning out according to a map of home delivery in Italy compiled by Just Eat.

2020: The year of food delivery

As every year, for four years now, Just Eat has been publishing the data collected by its Observatory on the online food delivery market. An operation that one of the leading home delivery platforms for food in Italy and throughout Europe has always endorsed to sanction the growing interest of a heterogeneous public in food delivery services. At the same time tracing the diversification of the offer and the improvement of the quality standards that the genre has gone through to meet an increasingly stronger demand. In 2020, however, the Observatory’s monitoring is very fitting to photograph a situation that has “benefited” from the restrictions imposed by the health emergency, with food delivery becoming a resource never so appreciated before, on the one hand a stimulus for the creativity of restaurateurs and on the other hand, a safe and versatile solution for many consumers. Specifically, the survey analyses the segment of food orders at home that pass through the convenience of online platforms, which in 2020 represent 20-25% of the traffic of the entire food delivery sector (in 2019 it was still at 18%), for a value of 700-800 million euros by the end of the year and an estimate for 2021 that points straight to a billion euros. To these numbers are added the results of the survey directly submitted by Just Eat to a sample of its customers: for 90% of them, during the lockdown, food delivery proved to be an essential service.

The most ordered foods and cuisine. Poke and gelato for the win

On this basis, the Map of food at home in Italy was drawn up, which shows about consumption trends, tastes and habits at the table of food delivery users in 30 Italian cities. Taking advantage of this we’re also updating the top 10 cuisines most ordered by Italians through online platforms. Despite the creative efforts and original solutions with which many cooks have tried in recent months to adapt their proposal to food delivery, however, the ranking of the most ordered foods for a dinner at home remains firmly guided by three genre musts: pizza, burgers (with the cheeseburger in the lead in the category) and Japanese (mainly sushi), on the podium in that order, from first to third place. Chinese cuisine, chicken and generally desserts follow. Among the exotic proposals is poke (which thus records a growth in requests equal to +133%), Mexican cuisine (the much loved tacos and burritos) and Greek cuisine also enter the top ten. But the photo of preferences also records the rise of gelato among the most ordered snacks via online platforms (and this is undoubtedly a sign of the need to change habits during and immediately after the lockdown), with an increase of 110% compared to the past. Going into even more detail, among the most ordered dishes in the first months of 2020 in Italy are many protagonist dishes of foreign cuisine, including confirmed winners – from grilled Chinese dumplings to fried rice, to kebabs – and emerging cuisines, such as the Middle Eastern or Thai. Not to mention the nascent passion for bao and steamed dim sum.

Cities that order the most for delivery

Each of the cities analysed, however, shows its preference: Florence and Padua are the cities of gelato, Rome, Naples and Turin pick poke; in Rimini people prefer to be on the safe side with traditional piadina, while in Messina and Cagliari burgers are preferred. And Pescara really likes sushi. The wine delivery market is also growing throughout Italy. But which are the cities with the highest growth in terms of number of orders (obviously calibrated on the requests registered by Just Eat)? Rimini, Ravenna, Taranto, Brescia and Reggio Emilia. And in general all these urban centres with a number of inhabitants between 100,000 and 200,000 people. In absolute terms, however, the highest number of orders is recorded in Rome, followed by Bologna and Milan.