What did consumers order through food delivery apps in 2019? GrubHub shares most in-demand menu items

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: GrubHub
Photo: GrubHub

Related tags: GrubHub, food delivery

GrubHub analyzed tens of millions of orders placed by more than 21 million customers on its app (from January through November 2019) and uncovered a clear move towards plant-based eating and a craving for cauliflower pizza.

Chicago-based GrubHub holds a 30% share of the meal delivery market (second to DoorDash with 35% share), according to data from Second Measure​. However, GrubHub is the leading meal delivery service in several major metropolitan areas, accounting for 67% of orders made in New York City, 42% in Philadelphia, 41% in Boston, and 37% in Chicago. 

Plant-based foods gain more traction

"One thing is clear: plant-based foods are here to stay, with a majority of 2019's top foods comprising of vegetarian- or vegan-friendly options,"​ said GrubHub. 

Vegan order rose 27% in popularity overall in 2019 as compared to 2018, according to GrubHub, noting that the Impossible Burger saw a more than 200% rise in popularity this year. 

Cauliflower has made a comeback from the #7 and #10 spots it held in the top ten foods from 2018​. This year, cauliflower pizza claimed the top spot registering a 650% increase in mobile orders in 2019 compared to year prior. 

The top meat-alternative options of 2019 (in ranking order):

  1. Impossible Burger       
    GrubHub_ImpossibleBurger
  2. Black bean burger
  3. Tofu              
  4. Mushroom burger  
  5. Jackfruit  

Trends on the rise... and decline

While burgers, pizza, and tacos will always be a mainstay of food delivery orders, mobile app diners are becoming more adventurous and are branching out into new dining territory. 

"It's all about detox and milk alternatives this year,"​ said GrubHub, which noted celery juice (+302%) and oat milk (+285%) as the top two emerging trends from 2019.

Poke, avocado toast, and kale, once trendy dishes, have stabilized this past year not registering significant growth.

According to GrubHub, orders that showed clear declines include kombucha and coconut water.

Which states placed the most and least vegan orders? 

Most vegan orders:

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Nevada
  4. Oregon
  5. Pennsylvania

Least vegan orders:

  1. Indiana
  2. Iowa
  3. North Carolina
  4. Missouri
  5. Idaho

What about meat?

In last year's report, a handful of meat options made the list of top tend foods ordered. This year only one, the chicken burger, made it into the top 10 most popular meals ordered this year ranking at #6 with a 318% increase in popularity. When it came to breakfast orders, however, meat was a more popular choice with bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, and chicken & waffles ranking as the #1 and #3 most popular breakfast items ordered. When broken down by late night orders, meat-based dishes proved to be more popular with buffalo chicken empanadas and brisket quesadilla claiming the top two spots. 

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