Business & Innovation
- January 14, 2021

5 delivery industry trends to watch out for in 2021

The new year is already well under way, and it comes as no surprise that the food delivery industry is growing faster than ever – with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

2020 saw customer behavior and expectations evolve at an unprecedented pace due to a global pandemic. At Delivery Hero, we believe that some of these emerging trends are here to stay, and will become foundational for the future of our company and the industry at large.  

Let’s dive into 5 key trends that we believe will play determining roles in shaping the food delivery industry for the years to come!


With changing lifestyles globally, convenience has probably become the first and most sought after aspect of any delivery experience. Our customers expect to get whatever they need, whenever they need it, locally and fast – and that does not stop with food. At Delivery Hero, we are constantly striving to make the ordering process as seamless as possible for all stakeholders involved, which means:

  • Offering lots of choice within one single app: whether you want to order your morning cappuccino, get painkillers, some flowers for a dinner party or a nice bottle of wine, it all should be possible to do it through one application. 
  • Optimizing for speed: constantly improving our services and focusing on smarter logistics and faster delivery times are an intrinsically strategic part of our business and will remain one of our focus areas going forward. 
  • Personalizing the customer experience and offering shortcuts through the decision making process, so that our customers can find the items that best fit their needs and cravings as fast as possible. 
  • Promoting no contact pick up and delivery: throughout 2020, Delivery Hero increased its focus on cashless payment, no-contact pick up and online tipping to keep all personal contacts to a minimum and keep riders, partners and customers safe.


In 2020, Delivery Hero pioneered q-commerce, the next generation of e-commerce, delivering products to customers instantly and in small batches, whenever and wherever they need them. We are now able to deliver items like groceries, pharmaceuticals and electronics at record speed – sometimes as fast as 15 minutes or less.

In 2021, we still strongly believe in the huge market potential of quick commerce, and will continue to invest in new verticals to better match our customers’ growing expectations.

Our q-commerce operations rely heavily on our Dmarts, delivery-only supermarkets or warehouses located centrally and optimized for delivery. Dmarts are complementary to existing supermarkets and cater to small orders of everyday products. In 2021, Delivery Hero will continue to expand its business with new retail partners in even more markets. Stay tuned!


It goes without saying that riders are an intrinsic part of our business,, and this will never cease to be true. We are always looking for new ways of supporting our riders, who make it possible for us to continue delivering an amazing experience for all our customers. 

As long as the pandemic is unfolding, the health and safety of our riders remains our first priority. Riders in high risk zones are being provided with hand sanitisers, masks and other safety materials, where and when it is locally and culturally accepted.

In 2020, Delivery Hero has established a program worth EUR 3 million to offer our subsidiaries the opportunity of providing financial support for its riders, called the Financial Support Program: If a rider is infected with COVID-19 or in mandatory quarantine issued by an official authority, they are eligible for a compensation of up to 15 days of lost work. This fund has been prolonged to the first quarter of 2021. 


At Delivery Hero, we care. To live up to this value, we are committed to sustainability, both when it comes to our environmental footprint and our social impact. 

Delivery Hero set the ambitious goal to be carbon neutral globally by the end of 2021, and has already achieved net-zero carbon emission for all of its European operations. Next to that, we are currently developing a global sustainable packaging program to give restaurants a more environmentally friendly option for packaging their food. Changing the packaging used by restaurants globally is a big challenge – and not one we face alone. But it’s one that needs to be tackled by the industry as a whole. 

In parallel, Delivery Hero wants to give back to the communities that we operate in around the world. In September 2020, we announced a global partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme to roll out their ShareTheMeal donation feature to our delivery apps, empowering customers to donate food to people in need and join the fight against global hunger. So far, the function is live in Austria, Bulgaria, Norway, Romania and Sweden, and is planned to launch in more markets soon. On top of that, Delivery Hero has facilitated more than 2 million meal donations since 2019 to people suffering from hunger or that have been impacted by COVID-19.


The main benefit of having existing delivery operations in c. 50 markets is that we are able to share best practices and leverage our existing infrastructure.

Delivery Hero’s global setup is very unique in the world: we constantly leverage and combine global and local strengths to create products that are close to our customers. Our teams always strive to find an exciting balance between very scalable, global technology that is often developed locally and tailored to various regions of the world to best meet our customers’ needs. In 2021, we will keep on fostering exchanges and dialogues between all of our entities – after all, Delivery Hero is all about forming a community that is bigger than the sum of its parts, and we are excited to see what 2021 has in store for all of our teams globally.

Written by

Chloé Gamache

Senior Specialist, Corporate Communications Delivery Hero

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