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Food Delivery Apps Remain Popular During COVID-19 Pandemic

Food Delivery Apps Remain Popular During COVID-19 Pandemic

We’ve ranked the top seven food delivery apps worldwide based on total downloads, then compared their current performance to their pre-pandemic numbers.

The global coronavirus pandemic has accelerated many digital trends, from remote work and telecommuting to the rise of telemedicine, video conferencing, and digital streaming.

In this article, however, we turn our attention to the most popular Android food delivery apps worldwide. These platforms played an essential role in keeping the restaurant industry afloat during lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders. So, with this in mind, we’ve analyzed how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19. 

We focused on the following food delivery apps:

  • Zomato
  • Uber Eats
  • Swiggy
  • iFood
  • foodpanda
  • Domino's Pizza
  • DoorDash

1. Zomato - Online Food Delivery & Restaurant Reviews by Zomato

Zomato is the most downloaded food delivery app on Google Play, with over 100,000,000 global downloads and 3,164,999 in just the last 30 days.

Here’s how Zomato has performed throughout the pandemic:

Zomato — Food Delivery Apps

Zomato has had an incredibly strong 2021, outperforming its pre-pandemic peak of 2,242,006 downloads in January 2020.

While Zomato struggled at the outset of the pandemic — registering fewer than one million downloads per month from April 2020 to July 2020 — they’ve been trending upwards ever since. Indeed, Zomato is currently on pace to register six consecutive months with more than two million downloads.

2. Uber Eats: Food Delivery by Uber Technologies, Inc.

Uber Eats is one of the most well known food delivery apps on the market. Just like Zomato, they’ve already tallied more than 100,000,000 global downloads, with a whopping 3,279,419 over the last month.

Here’s how Uber Eats has performed during the pandemic:

Uber Eats — Food Delivery Apps

Uber Eats had far stronger numbers than Zomato both before and during the pandemic. For instance, in December 2019, Uber Eats registered just under 6 million global downloads, nearly three times more than Zomato’s pre-pandemic peak in January 2020.

Nevertheless, Uber Eats has been trending downwards, notching six consecutive months with fewer than four million downloads.

3. Swiggy Food Order | Online Grocery | Delivery App by Swiggy

Swiggy is another highly popular food delivery app. It’s been downloaded more than 100,000,000 times, including 1,153,279 downloads over the last 30 days.

Here’s how Swiggy managed during the pandemic:

Swiggy — Food Delivery Apps

Swiggy’s chart looks quite a bit like Zomato’s. They’ve done a great job rebounding from the pandemic, which drove their monthly downloads below one million for four consecutive months in 2020. What’s more, their downloads are now hovering close to two million per month, which puts them back around pre-pandemic levels.

4. iFood Delivery de Comida by iFood Delivery de Comida e Mercado

iFood is a super popular food delivery app based in Brazil. It has been downloaded over 50,000,000 times worldwide, with 1,200,083 downloads coming in the past month.

Here’s how iFood performed throughout the pandemic:

iFood — Food Delivery Apps

Unlike the other apps mentioned thus far, iFood didn’t see much of a dropoff in the early days of the pandemic. Indeed, it wasn’t until June 2020 that downloads began to fall for the app. And even then, the dropoff was short-lived. By January 2021, iFood managed to break the two million download mark for the first time in the two-year period we analyzed, ringing in the new year with 2,136,784 monthly downloads.

5. foodpanda - Local Food & Grocery Delivery by Foodpanda GmbH a subsidiary of Delivery Hero SE

Next up, foodpanda, which has been downloaded over 50,000,000 times globally and 1,377,671 over the last 30 days.

Here’s how the Berlin-based food delivery app performed during the pandemic:

foodpanda — Food Delivery Apps

More than perhaps any other app on this list, foodpanda saw a major uptick in downloads at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Their best month over the two-year period was April 2020, just one month after many countries began instituting lockdowns and other measures aimed at attenuating the spread of the virus. Indeed, from March 2020 to August 2020, foodpanda never fell below two million global downloads.

6. Domino's Pizza - Online Food Delivery App by Jubilant Foodworks

This takes us to Dominos, which has over 10,000,000 global downloads, including 682,670 over the past month.

Here’s how the Ann Arbor-based pizza powerhouse handled the pandemic:

Domino's Pizza — Food Delivery Apps

Dominos is obviously not your typical food delivery app. Nevertheless, it’s insanely popular. Similar to foodpanda, Dominos saw an uptick during the early days of the pandemic that began in May 2020 and peaked at 1,514,049 downloads in November of the same year. Currently, Dominos continues to outpace its pre-pandemic performance.

7. DoorDash - Food Delivery by DoorDash

Last, but certainly not least, DoorDash! This app has been downloaded over 10,000,000 times, including 1,833,588 downloads over the last 30 days.

Here’s how DoorDash performed during the pandemic:

DoorDash — Food Delivery Apps

DoorDash, much like foodpanda, experienced a major boost in downloads at the outset of the pandemic, reaching a high of just under two million global downloads in April 2020. While downloads fell off a bit as 2020 wore on, DoorDash continued to perform above their pre-pandemic baseline, notching big spikes in January 2021 and June 2021.

Conclusion

Interestingly, while there are certainly overlapping trends among these food delivery apps, there’s a good deal of contradictory data that makes it difficult to come away with any firm conclusions. For example, as countries began to enforce lockdowns, Zomato and Swiggy registered diminished downloads while downloads of foodpanda and DoorDash exploded.

Now, it’s hard to say for certain, but it could be that the explanation for these discrepancies is that these apps operate in different markets and countries with different regulations and government policies.

For instance, countries that initiated stricter lockdown measures may not have deemed delivery drivers essential workers, thus diminishing the convenience of food delivery apps. Another possibility is that countries with more generous stimulus and relief measures may have incentivized delivery drivers to not work. If so, with fewer drivers making deliveries, a subsequent increase in the cost per order may have priced out many users.

Whatever the case may be, food delivery apps remain incredibly popular — global pandemics be damned.

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