Delivery platforms and fast food brands have spent millions on advertising as they capitalise on Australia’s lockdowns

Delivery platforms and fast food brands have spent millions on advertising as they capitalise on Australia’s lockdowns
  • Takeaway orders are up 600% since the start of the pandemic, a new report shows, as rolling lockdowns reshape how Australians spend on food.
  • UberEats ad spending dwarfed that of other delivery platforms, with a massive $10.4 million spent encouraging Australians to order in.
  • Delivery platforms have shifted their positioning to be a “more reliable” alternative to grocery shopping, experts say.
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Takeaway orders are up 600% in Australia since the start of the pandemic, new data shows, as the country’s eating habits shifted throughout months of rolling lockdowns. 

New insights from Pathmatics, a digital marketing intelligence platform, has revealed that almost every delivery platform operating in Australia has supercharged its spending to capitalise on consumers increasingly turning to delivery and fast food while under stay at home orders. 

Previous research has found that Fridays now rival Saturdays as the most popular day of the weekend to order fast food, with Australians placing delivery orders earlier than ever.

Pathmatics findings have shown that fast food brands shifted advertising spend over the past 18 months to online platforms; companies spent $561,073,000 with YouTube and $9,713,000 with Facebook.

In particular, Menulog spent 97% of its digital budget on YouTube as it sought to reach younger audiences and compete with other platforms. 

Similarly, delivery platforms operating in Australia supercharged their spending, with UberEats investing a massive $10.4 million on advertising, trailed by Menulog and DoorDash at $6.5 million and $6.3 million respectively. 

While UberEats outspent its competition overall, the data showed Menulog ramped up its ad spend from late June as states have returned to lockdown.

It also showed UberEats spending spiked at the beginning of lockdowns, including at the height of Australia’s first lockdown in June 2020 and again during Melbourne’s harsh second lockdown in September 2020. 

The global delivery giant funnelled much of this spend into promoting partnerships with both KFC and McDonalds, in line with the continued diversification of delivery platforms into the fast food space.

Deliveroo consistently advertised the least of the major delivery platforms operating in Australia, with its spending amounting to just 5% of UberEats total spend.

The findings were taken from data from March 2020 through to July 2021, which took into account various COVID-19 waves faced since the beginning of the pandemic.

Eugene du Plessis, regional director at Pathmatics said that while takeaway was once seen as “a treat” by many, increasingly Australians have relied on fast food brands and delivery services as they have battled varying degrees of lockdowns. 

“For those people living in NSW right now, confined to a 5km radius and stay at home orders, they’re particularly dependent on these services,” du Plessis said. 

He said that both fast food brands and delivery services, which have upped their ad spend during the various COVID waves across our nation, have seen payoff from these efforts. 

These companies have also seen the benefits of changing their positioning toward being a “more reliable” alternative to leaving home to shop for groceries, and as a replacement for dining out. 

“Brands have clearly tapped into consumer interest for takeaways services being at an all time high,” du Plessis said.