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China Food Delivery Services Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Food Delivery Services market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report focuses on consumer experience and attitudes towards online food delivery services.Online delivery services from all foodservice outlets are included, such as:

  • fast food
  • fast casual
  • casual dining
  • fine dining
  • restaurants
  • coffee and tea shops
  • ice cream and dessert shops

Excluded: Online delivery services of other products, such as fruits and snacks from retailers

What you need to know

Food delivery has now become an indispensable part of life due to its convenience. However, the market is far from mature and there is good potential for occasion expansion such as nonworking meals and niche locales (parks for example). Regarding usage habits of food delivery platforms, Mintel’s research finds that consumers, especially young consumers, tend to switch among different platforms due to low loyalty, although niche/ focused and brand-owned platforms are much less popular than leading ones.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Summer Chen, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

China’s food delivery market has enjoyed explosive growth in recent years due to consumers’ increasing value on convenience. However, there is still great potential as consumers start to see food delivery as a treat rather than a tool to meet the basic need of satisfying hunger. Regarding usage habits, consumers tend to switch among different food delivery platforms although leading ones dominant in the market. Summer Chen
Senior Foodservice Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
        • Inclusions
          • Exclusions
            • Definitions
              • Figure 1: Definition of heavy/light/non-users of coffee houses
              • Figure 2: Definition of low/mid/high MHI groups, by city tier
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 3: Value sales of food delivery market, China, 2015-2018
              • Companies and brands
                • The consumer
                  • Consumer segmentation
                    • Figure 4: Consumer segmentation based on their attitudes towards food delivery, May 2018
                  • Ordering food delivery has become a common practice
                    • Figure 5: Frequency of ordering food delivery, May 2018
                  • Convenience rather than promotions driving usage
                    • Figure 6: Reasons for ordering food delivery, May 2018
                  • Niche/focused and brand-owned platforms have limited appeal
                    • Figure 7: Usage of food delivery platforms, May 2018
                  • Low platform loyalty
                    • Figure 8: Usage of food delivery platforms, repertoire analysis, May 2018
                  • Promotions and faster delivery driving flow to non-leading platforms
                    • Figure 9: Reasons for ordering from non-leading platforms, May 2018
                  • Niche locales to explore
                    • Figure 10: New locales of food delivery services, May 2018
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • How can restaurant brands succeed in the food delivery market?
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Figure 11: Examples of restaurant communications highlighting freshness, China
                          • Figure 12: Example of pleasing packaging for food delivery
                        • Consumer education needed for occasion expansion
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Figure 13: Ele.me’s FIFA World Cup campaign
                            • Is there a place for brand-owned platforms in the future?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • An explosive market
                                    • Rising singletons and less experienced young cooks driving future growth
                                    • Market Size

                                      • Explosive growth in the last couple of years
                                        • Figure 14: Value sales of food delivery market, China, 2015-2018
                                        • Figure 15: User base of food delivery market, China, 2015-2018
                                        • Figure 16: Per capita spending on food delivery services, 2015-18
                                        • Figure 17: Share of food delivery in total foodservice market, 2015-2018
                                      • Looking ahead to the next five years
                                      • Market Factors

                                        • Rising singleton
                                          • Young people less experienced at cooking
                                            • Foodservice tapping into the snacking occasion
                                              • Regulation on food safety rising industry standard
                                                • Chilled ready meals at conveniences stores pose a threat
                                                  • Figure 18: Seating area, 7-11, Shanghai
                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                • A duopoly of platforms
                                                  • Platforms are focusing on quality restaurants and faster delivery
                                                    • Restaurants are offering specially-designed dishes for delivery only
                                                      • Main dish salads are emerging to be popular
                                                      • Market Share

                                                        • A duopoly market
                                                          • Figure 19: Market share of food delivery market, China, by transaction value, 2016-17
                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                        • Platforms
                                                          • More quality restaurants
                                                            • Better customer service ensuring consumer satisfaction
                                                              • Restaurant Brands
                                                                • Traditional brands developing specially-designed set menus for online delivery services
                                                                  • Figure 20: Example of specially-designed set menus for online delivery services
                                                                  • Figure 21: Example of smaller portion dishes for online delivery services
                                                                • Start-up brands focusing on online delivery to reduce costs
                                                                  • Figure 22: Dish packaging, Sweetie Salad, 2017
                                                                • Main dish salads grow in popularity
                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Four consumer segments
                                                                    • Enthusiasts and Contradictors are heavy food delivery users
                                                                      • Convenience is the top reason for ordering food delivery
                                                                        • Low loyalty to food delivery platforms
                                                                          • Greater promotions and faster delivery contribute most to driving flows to non-leading platforms
                                                                            • There is consumer demand for food delivery at niche locales
                                                                            • Consumer Segmentation

                                                                              • Four types of consumers
                                                                                • Figure 23: Consumer segmentation based on their attitudes towards food delivery, May 2018
                                                                              • Who are they?
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Attitudes towards food delivery services, % of strongly agree, by consumer segmentation, May 2018
                                                                              • Frequency of Ordering Food Delivery

                                                                                • Ordering food delivery has become a common practice
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Frequency of ordering food delivery, May 2018
                                                                                • Enthusiasts and Contradictors are heavy orderers
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Proportion of heavy food delivery users, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                • High earners are also fans of food delivery services
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Proportion of heavy food delivery users, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                • Consumers from lower-tier cities rely more on food delivery
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Proportion of food delivery non-users, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                              • Reasons for Ordering Food Delivery

                                                                                • Convenience rather than promotion is the top reason
                                                                                  • Figure 29: Reasons for ordering food delivery, May 2018
                                                                                • Enthusiasts also see food delivery as a change of palate
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Reasons for ordering food delivery, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                • Consumers from higher tier cities order more for taste reasons
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Selected reasons for ordering food delivery, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                              • Usage of Food Delivery Platforms

                                                                                • Leading brands dominate the market, especially among young consumers
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Usage of food delivery platforms, May 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Usage of leading food delivery platforms, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                • Brand-owned platforms have their own appeal
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Usage of brand-owned food delivery platforms, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                • Niche brands more favoured by specific demographics
                                                                                  • Consumers are not loyal to platforms, especially young consumers
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Usage of food delivery platforms, repertoire analysis, May 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Proportion of consumers who have used only one platform for food delivery in the last three months, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Proportion of consumers who have used only one platform for food delivery in the last three months, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                  • Meituan has most loyal consumers
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Usage of food delivery platforms, among those who have used only one platform in the last three months, May 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 39: % of loyal users among total users, by key players, May 2018
                                                                                • Reasons for Ordering from Non-leading Platforms

                                                                                  • Greater promotions and faster delivery contribute most to driving flow
                                                                                    • Figure 40: Reasons for ordering from non-leading platforms, May 2018
                                                                                  • KFC may need to improve on customer services
                                                                                    • Figure 41: Reasons for ordering from non-leading platforms by usage of brand-owned food delivery platforms, May 2018
                                                                                  • Koubei wins at promotions while Didi wins at customer service
                                                                                    • Figure 42: Reasons for ordering from non-leading platforms by usage of niche food delivery platforms, May 2018
                                                                                • New Locales of Food Delivery Services

                                                                                  • A wide range of new occasions to tap into
                                                                                    • Figure 43: New locales of food delivery services, May 2018
                                                                                  • Consumers from lower tier cities are more interested in ordering food delivery at niche locations
                                                                                    • Figure 44: New locales of food delivery services, have ordered, by selected demographics, May 2018
                                                                                • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                  • Heavier users of food delivery services, especially for afternoon tea occasion
                                                                                    • Figure 45: Gap between MinTs and non-MinTs (as benchmark) heavy users, May 2018
                                                                                  • Driven more by both convenience and taste reasons
                                                                                    • Figure 46: Reasons for ordering food delivery, by consumer classification, May 2018
                                                                                  • Brand membership benefits and better customer services drive MinTs to order more from non-leading platforms
                                                                                    • Figure 47: Usage of non-leading food delivery platforms, by consumer classification, May 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 48: Gap between MinTs and non-MinTs (as benchmark) in reasons for ordering from non-leading platforms, September 2017
                                                                                • Appendix – Market Size

                                                                                    • Figure 49: Value sales of food delivery market, China, 2015-18
                                                                                • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                    • Abbreviations