Dec 20, 2016 Consumer

2016 DoorDash Delivery Trends: The Year in Review

By Ben Dearborn, Business Operations Associate

Here at DoorDash our data team ensures we count everything: the number of orders coming in per day, the amount of time it takes for a restaurant to prepare a salad, the percent of people who order in chalupas from Taco Bell, and much, much more. With another new year upon us, once again we are digging deep into our data stacks to look back at the past 12 months and figure out what people ate in 2016.

The most popular

During a wild year with many changes, the most popular restaurants stayed remarkably constant. The most orders this year came from sandwich restaurants (like Ike’s Sandwiches), followed by burger restaurants (like Red Robin) and salad restaurants (like Sweetgreen). Pizza and Fast Food restaurants rounded out the top five.

While Pizza and Chinese foods are normally synonymous with delivery, we saw an incredible diversity in orders this year, particularly in terms of international cuisines. Mexican food was the most popular global cuisine on DoorDash in 2016, followed by Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai.

Meanwhile, when it comes to specific items, french fries were once again the most popular item ordered through DoorDash. Sodas and soft drinks came in second, followed by pad thai, cheeseburgers, and the super burrito.

Fastest growing

While the most popular items and cuisines give a glimpse into day-to-day eatings habits in 2016, it’s also fun to see what types of orders spiked throughout the year. This year we saw people testing out new diets and eating healthier, with orders from organic restaurants gaining the biggest increase over 2015, followed by orders for paleo food and smoothies. Soul food came in fourth and pho came in fifth in terms of the biggest increase in orders from the previous year.

In terms of fastest growing specific items in 2016, DIY was clearly a fad. The “create your own burger” came in number one and the “build your own salad” was number 5, as people clearly crave customizability along with their convenience. Other items in the top 5 fastest growing items include taco al pastor, avocado toast, and the California club.

Going local

With fries being the most popular item two years in a row, we wanted to see who was ordering all those potatoes. It turns out that the Northeast sure loves their fries, with New York seeing the greatest percentage of orders including fries, followed by Boston, Chicago, Toronto, and Columbus.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country we saw a new trend in poke deliveries, with the most orders for poke coming from California. Orange County was the number one market for poke orders, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Austin.

Item by item

With Mexican food as the most popular international cuisine and super burritos as the number five most popular item, we wanted to dig deeper and see what other types of burritos people order. After super burritos, the most popular order was the regular burrito, followed by the breakfast burrito, the bean and cheese burrito, and the California burrito.

We also saw some fun data around salad orders. The Caesar salad and Greek salad were number one and two, with the Chinese chicken salad sneaking into the top 3, followed by the cobb salad and the taco salad.

This year we launched a partnership with Whole Foods Market in select markets, and saw some unique data from their deliveries. One of the great features of Whole Foods Market is their wide selection of fresh items available for delivery, so you can order sandwiches, salads, sushi and more all in the same order. With everyone’s intense love of cheese, it’s no surprise that the most popular item from Whole Foods Market this year was the macaroni and cheese, followed by the half classic roasted chicken. After that came the turkey avocado bacon club, the salmon avocado sushi roll and the sautéed spinach and garlic.

This year we also introduced alcohol delivery on DoorDash, and from beer to wine to liquor all types of alcoholic beverages were available for delivery through the platform. This year the Apothic Red Blend wine was the most popular alcoholic item on DoorDash, followed by three beers — Coors Light, Stella Artois, and Lagunitas IPA — and Skyy Vodka coming in fifth.

Key moments of 2016

2016 also had some truly memorable nights, which resulted in some notable deliveries.

For example, this summer, the world tuned in to Rio De Janeiro to watch countries across the globe compete in the Olympic games. The night of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies we saw people getting into the local spirit with their food choices, as Brazilian food delivery increased by a whopping 54%. Similarly, orders for Latin American food increased by 32% and orders for Portuguese food (the official language in Brazil) increased by more than 25% that night.

In another major sports event this year, the Chicago Cubs broke their 100+ year curse to win the World Series in epic fashion. On the night of Game 7, Chicagoans supported their team by ordering in a hometown favorite: hot dog orders in Chicago increased by 107% over a typical night. Nationally, orders from pubs, wine bars, and falafel all spiked as people ordered in to watch history unfold.

Of course, no discussion of 2016 would be complete without mentioning the presidential election. On Election Night, we saw people getting into the party spirit with a 90% increase in orders from liquor stores, 79% increase in cupcake orders, 50% increase in orders from wine bars, and 46% increase in pizza orders. Funny enough the day after Election Day we saw a 59% increase in Canadian cuisine orders, perhaps a reflection of people who were considering a move north after seeing the election results.

DoorDash and beyond

Beyond the data, 2016 was a huge year for DoorDash as well. We expanded our coverage area to 28 major metropolitan markets across more than 250 cities. We introduced alcohol delivery and opened up our platform to fulfill deliveries that originated outside our marketplace. We welcomed numerous new partners including Red Robin, Whole Foods Market, Carl’s Jr, Baskin-Robbins, and Jack in the Box. And all the while, we continued to iterate on our core product by making delivery faster, simpler, and more delightful.

Thank you for being a part of DoorDash as we continue on this epic journey. You can see the full data sets for 2016 below and from all of us at DoorDash, we’d like to wish you a very happy holidays, a great new year, and a delightful 2017.

The full lists:

Most popular cuisines

  1. Sandwiches
  2. Burgers
  3. Salad
  4. Pizza
  5. Fast food
  6. Mexican
  7. Italian
  8. Breakfast/ Brunch
  9. Chinese
  10. Japanese

Most popular international cuisines

  1. Mexican
  2. Italian
  3. Chinese
  4. Japanese
  5. Thai

Most popular items

  1. French Fries
  2. Soft Drink / soda
  3. Pad Thai
  4. Cheeseburger
  5. Super Burrito
  6. Bacon Cheeseburger
  7. Chicken Tikka Masala
  8. Fried Rice
  9. Garlic Naan
  10. Miso Soup

Fastest Growing Cuisines in 2016

  1. Organic
  2. Paleo
  3. Smoothies
  4. Soul Food
  5. Pho

Fastest Growing Items in 2016

  1. Create your own Burger
  2. Taco al Pastor
  3. Avocado Toast
  4. California Club
  5. Build Your Own Salad

Top Fries ordering Markets

  1. New York
  2. Boston
  3. Chicago
  4. Toronto
  5. Columbus

Top Poke ordering Markets

  1. Orange County
  2. Los Angeles
  3. San Francisco
  4. San Diego
  5. Austin

Top Kale ordering markets

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Manhattan
  3. Vancouver
  4. Phoenix
  5. Brooklyn

Top Pumpkin Spice ordering markets

  1. San Diego
  2. Bay Area
  3. Nashville
  4. LA Valley
  5. Minneapolis

Top Wings ordering Markets

  1. Columbus
  2. Indianapolis
  3. Charlotte
  4. Bay Area
  5. Atlanta

Most popular items ordered from Whole Foods Market

  1. Macaroni and Cheese
  2. Half Classic Roasted Chicken
  3. Turkey Avocado Bacon Club
  4. Salmon Avocado Roll
  5. Sautéed Spinach and Garlic

Most popular alcoholic beverage

  1. Apothic Red Blend
  2. Coors Light
  3. Stella Artois
  4. Lagunitas IPA
  5. Skyy Vodka

Most popular Burritos

  1. Super Burrito
  2. Regular Burrito
  3. Breakfast Burrito
  4. Bean & Cheese Burrito
  5. California Burrito

Most popular salad

  1. Caesar Salad
  2. Greek Salad
  3. Chinese Chicken Salad
  4. Cobb Salad
  5. Taco Salad