While Italian, Chinese and Indian remain the most popular choices of takeaway, demand for Big Macs and hot Greggs sausage rolls is helping to drive strong growth at Just Eat Takeaway.com.
The FTSE 100 food delivery operator underpinned its position as one of the winners in the coronavirus crisis by reporting a forecast-beating 46 per cent jump in orders in the third quarter to 151.4 million, an acceleration on the growth of 41 per cent reported in the second quarter, as the positive trends seen in July continued into August and September.
Order growth in the UK showed an even bigger improvement, at 43 per cent, up from 34 per cent in the second quarter, and analysts are forecasting more of the same in the final quarter against easy comparative trading.
The group said that its UK business had been given a lift by several new partnerships, including with about 800 McDonald’s restaurants and 300 Greggs stores.
In early summer, Just Eat reported a sharp rise in demand for breakfast and lunch as consumers adjusted to being in lockdown, while the hot weather boosted orders of Greek, Turkish and Thai food as well as ice cream. For those overdoing it on the sweet treats, a Joe Wicks fitness class isn’t the only answer. Vegetarian and vegan options are also on the up.
Just Eat Takeaway.com was formed in February this year via the £10 billion merger of Just Eat and Takeaway.com, its Dutch rival. Just Eat was launched in Copenhagen in 2001, entered the British market in 2006 and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. Takeaway.com was founded in 2000 by Jitse Groen, who is chief executive of the enlarged company.
The group, which is dual listed in London and Amsterdam, has its headquarters in Amsterdam and operations in countries including Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Spain and Israel. In the UK, it operates mainly as a marketplace, where its restaurant partners deliver the food, although in a bid to sign up chain restaurants such as McDonald’s it has started setting up delivery operations.
The company said that the integration of Just Eat and Takeaway.com was “on track”, adding that it had started an “aggressive investment programme” in the Just Eat territories, significantly increasing spending on marketing and sales.
Order growth in all its other divisions was strongly ahead in the third quarter, with The Netherlands up 32 per cent, Germany up 47 per cent and Canada up 98 per cent, while its rest of the world unit was up 33 per cent helped by triple-digit growth in Australia.
For the first nine months, orders for the group as a whole rose by 37 per cent to 408.3 million, while the UK was up 27 per cent as it processed 123.2 million orders.
Mr Groen, 42, said: “Order growth at Just Eat Takeaway.com further accelerated, consequently widening the gap to competitors in our key markets. We have continued to generate strong adjusted [underlying earnings], while investing aggressively, and are well-positioned for autumn and winter, our traditional growth season.”