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How food delivery apps are being impacted by COVID-19

April 1, 2020
Industry Updates

Food delivery apps are seeing a lot of traffic during this global period of confinement.

“At Adikteev, we’ve been adjusting to working and living remote since March 9th. This new reality has changed not only the way we work but the way we relate to our friends and loved ones. While everything seems to be turned upside down around the world, we’re still hard at work, and we noticed some trends across the app universe that we will continue sharing with you over the coming weeks of confinement.” - Emilien Eychenne, Adikteev co-founder

Food delivery apps and the new normal

It’s still uncertain how the effects of the coronavirus will be felt over time, but in the short term it’s had a dramatic impact on apps across all verticals. With limited options for going out to eat or shop, it’s no surprise that one vertical in particular is having a bit of a moment: food delivery apps. Everything from fresh vegetables to takeout can be at your door with the touch of a button. And with apps such as Postmates and Deliveroo adding options for leave-at-the-door and no-contact delivery, users feel secure that they’re less likely to pick up the virus or give it to someone else.

Global Impact on food delivery apps

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a massive uptick in downloads for food delivery apps in the US and France. Across both countries, there was a 61% spike in downloads from the week of March 9 to the week of March 16, and a 60% increase from the week of January 20 to the week of March 23.

Global weekly organic installs: Food delivery (base 100)
0%Global weekly organic installs: Food delivery (base 100)

United States

In the US, installs of food delivery apps jumped 55% from the week of January 20 to the week of March 23. We also saw a spike of 61% in installs from the week of March 9 to the week of March 16.

Weekly organic installs: food delivery US only (Base 100)
0%Weekly organic installs: food delivery US only (Base 100)


In France, we noticed an even more dramatic increase in downloads from March 9 to March 16. Installs went up 118% during this time period, and they increase 149% when we compare to January 20 to March 23. While there’s a slight decrease from the week of March 16 to March 23, downloads of food delivery apps are still significantly higher than the previous two months.

Weekly organic installs: food delivery France only (Base 100)
0%Weekly organic installs: food delivery France only (Base 100)

What does this mean for food delivery?

To maintain this momentum, food delivery apps have to find a way to differentiate themselves from the herd, keep users consistently ordering in their apps and most importantly sustain the surge of orders by hiring new delivery people. Ubereats is already sending out vouchers and coupons to repeat customers, and Deliveroo has pivoted to begin delivering groceries in addition to prepared food. It will be interesting to watch this vertical change and develop as we adapt to our new reality of social distancing.

How to make a difference

On a more personal note, as we enter this difficult time it’s more important than ever to unite as a community. Local restaurant owners and small farmers are suffering heavy losses of revenue due to the closure of farmers’ markets and restaurants. But you can help! Take a break from cooking and order some meals from your favorite restaurant to freeze for later or sign up for a grocery delivery that supports local agriculture. For the moment, restaurants that have been able to stay open are authorized for food delivery in both France and the US, and companies are working to attract new drivers to meet demand in both countries. It might not seem like a huge deal, but it’s a small way to make a difference for two industries whose profit margins were already razor-thin.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves!

Margot Miller
Brand Content Manager
Lina Rowan
US Field Marketing and Events Manager

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