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Evolution of food delivery services

By Minal Tayal 9th February 2024

Food delivery services have undergone a remarkable evolution over the years, transforming from simple single-restaurant orders to complex, multi-cuisine platforms that offer diverse culinary options. This evolution of food delivery services has been marked by technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and the emergence of innovative business models.

In this blog, we will delve into the evolution of food delivery services, exploring key milestones, statistics, and facts that highlight the industry’s progression.

food delivery services
Check out Junglework’s smart delivery management software- Tookan

Early Beginnings- Convenience Takes Center Stage

While the concept of ready-made meals goes back to ancient Roman “thermopolium” stalls, the modern food delivery story officially began in the late 19th century. In Mumbai, India, the iconic dabbawalas emerged, delivering home-cooked lunches to busy workers. Their intricate system, relying on bicycles and meticulous organization, remains a marvel of efficiency even today.

The Digital Revolution- Ordering Goes Online

The 1990s saw the dawn of the internet, and with it, online food ordering platforms. Websites like Pizza Hut’s online ordering system (1994) paved the way for the digital convenience we enjoy today. These early platforms primarily focused on single-restaurant deliveries, simplifying the ordering process and expanding reach.

The Rise of Aggregators: Choice Explosion

The 2000s witnessed the rise of multi-restaurant delivery platforms like Grubhub and Seamless. These “aggregators” partnered with numerous restaurants, offering users a wider variety of cuisines and choices within a single platform. This convenience, coupled with mobile app advancements, fueled the industry’s significant growth.

Also read- How to Create a Food Delivery App

Subscription Services- Personalized Culinary Experiences

By the 2010s, food delivery evolved beyond just convenience. Subscription-based meal services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron gained popularity. These offered curated meal plans with pre-portioned ingredients and recipes, catering to specific dietary needs and preferences.

Looking Ahead- Innovation on the Horizon

The future of food delivery holds exciting possibilities. We can expect-

  • Drone and robot deliveries: Faster and potentially more sustainable delivery options.
  • Artificial intelligence-powered recommendations: Personalized menus and curated choices based on individual preferences and dietary restrictions.
  • Focus on food waste reduction: Initiatives like “ugly produce” deliveries and partnerships with food banks.
Food delivery with drone

Statistics and Facts

  • The global online food delivery market is expected to reach a staggering US$326.6 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 11.5%. (Statista)
  • In the US alone, online food delivery orders increased by 47% between 2019 and 2020. (National Restaurant Association)
  • Millennials are the biggest users of online food delivery services, accounting for 43% of all orders. (Statista)
  • The subscription-based meal kit market is projected to reach US$20.2 billion by 2027. (Zion Market Research)


The evolution of food delivery services from traditional phone orders to sophisticated multi-cuisine platforms with subscription-based models reflects the dynamic nature of the industry. With technology continuing to play a pivotal role, the future of food delivery holds exciting possibilities, promising even more convenience, diversity, and innovation for consumers worldwide.

Also read a blog on- How to Build an On-demand Food Delivery Business?

Additional Notes

  • You can add specific examples of popular food delivery platforms in different regions for a more personalized touch.
  • Consider including challenges faced by the industry, such as worker rights and environmental concerns.
  • Feel free to expand on any specific aspects that interest you, like the impact of food delivery on restaurants or the rise of ghost kitchens.

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