The use of meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo in Australia has doubled in 18 months, according to new research

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  • New research from Roy Morgan shows the use of meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo has doubled in just 18 months.
  • The growth has been most substantial among younger Australians, with well over a quarter of millennials and Gen Z saying they use meal delivery services.
  • Uber Eats remains the market leader, with 11.5% of Australians using the service.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

It should come as no particular surprise Australians are enormous fans of meal delivery services.

But still, the rate of growth is huge. According to new research from Roy Morgan, the use of meal delivery services doubled in the 18 months since the research company did its last study into the then-burgeoning industry in mid-2018.

According to Roy Morgan’s research, nearly 4 million Australians aged 14 and over now use meal delivery services, as compared to 1.98 million in mid-2018.

This growth is driven largely by younger Australians, with over a quarter of millennials and Gen Z saying they use meal delivery services. By comparison, only 6.3% of baby boomers do.

Uber Eats remains the king among services, with 11.5% of Australians reporting they use it.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said in a statement provided to Business Insider Australia the rapid development did not come as a shock.

“Roy Morgan has closely monitored the usage of apps over the last few years and the rapid take-up of meal delivery service apps since Uber Eats and Deliveroo launched in mid-2015 is no surprise,” she said.

“Uber overtook the taxis as the preferred private transport service in mid-2019 and with only a fifth of Australians now using meal delivery services there is still plenty of room to grow usage. Already the younger generations of Millennials (29.7% usage) and Generation Z (28.7%) are approaching market penetration of a third.”

Not everyone is cheering

The frictionless ease of use promised by food delivery apps hasn’t necessarily been applauded by all stakeholders.

Despite the success some restaurants have seen selling their product through services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, others are more circumspect on the impact on the restaurant economy.

Following the announcement this week that George Calombaris’ restaurant empire had collapsed, newly appointed administrators KordaMentha was quick to point the finger at meal delivery services as a pain point for the industry.

“Other factors were generally difficult trading conditions in the hospitality industry in recent years due to the expansion of the on-demand economy via services such as UberEats and Deliveroo, increasing costs, fierce industry competition and changes in consumer tastes to favour cheaper mid-tier dining options,” KordaMentha’s statement read.

At the end of 2019, restaurant industry body Restaurants and Catering Australia (RCA) issued a call for consumers to ditch the apps to which they had grown so accustomed.

“We encourage people to actually go to their favourite restaurants to either pick up their food or dine in rather than use a delivery platform,” RCA CEO Wes Lambert told Business Insider Australia.

“Convenience is obviously a strong driver for patrons, but it is important diners understand that restaurants will close if something doesn’t change soon.”

With delivery app usage only going up – and younger people driving the shift – it seems something might have to give.