- A new report from Grubhub provides insight on the most popular trends based on the 500,000 orders received through its platform a day. Through its data, Grubhub notes that orders of vegan-friendly dishes increased by 25% so far this year compared to the same time period last year, according to a company release.
- Orders of the Impossible Burger specifically jumped by 82% overall. This product is in especially high demand in the Midwest (326% more popular) and the West (194% more popular).
- Consumers in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New York, Portland, Oregon, Rochester, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit and San Diego had the highest ordering percentage of vegan foods.
Considering the cities that have the highest ordering percentage of vegan foods span every region of the country, the nature of this demand is widespread. These results also springboard off of Grubhub’s 2018 Year in Food report, which analyzed orders from more than 16 million consumers and showed that no red meat dishes were even on the top 10 list. Plenty of plant-based foods were, however, including bean burritos, which jumped by 276% compared to 2017.
What’s perhaps even more interesting this year is the tremendous growth of Impossible Burger orders during the late-night daypart (529% more popular), meaning customers aren’t just seeking out this product for a healthy alternative to meat, but also for an indulgent dinner or post-dinner fix.
In other words, there doesn’t seem to be a slowdown in sight for meatless offerings. In May, for example, Impossible Foods raised $300 million in funding. That same month, Beyond Meat went public and experienced a 163% jump in share prices on day one.
These meatless offerings are living up to expectations, too. Beyond Meat’s sales to restaurant and foodservice brands (including Carl’s Jr. and TGI Fridays) jumped nearly 500% in Q1. And, in just a few months, Del Taco sold nearly 2 million Beyond Tacos.
Impossible Burger has an even deeper footprint in the restaurant space, partnering thus far with White Castle, Cheesecake Factory, Hard Rock Café, Qdoba, Red Robin and Burger King. Four of these six chains deliver on the Grubhub app, including Burger King, which could explain why Impossible’s numbers are high while Beyond Meat isn’t listed. As Burger King (with over 7,300 restaurants) rolls out the Impossible Burger nationwide this year, these numbers should continue to grow.
Notably, Impossible has run into some inventory issues, with both White Castle and Red Robin reporting shortages earlier this month. This could undermine the product’s reputation and hinder growth, as could the few staunch holdouts of this trend — both Taco Bell and Arby’s have insisted they will not add plant-based meat.
But any such hiccups likely won't last long. Grubhub is the second largest delivery platform in the country with 26.7% of the market share, which means its data paints a pretty clear picture of what consumers are ordering, and these numbers suggest the trend is here to stay.