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Eating out trumps supermarkets online

UberEats appConcerns over future supermarket spend are compounding for Australia’s big supermarkets, with two studies in as many weeks warning of a rise in take-away food ordering.

After Deloitte Access Economics flagged a shift from supermarkets to eating-out last week, a Sensis eBusiness survey of 800 Aussie consumers has found that nearly-half (47%) of shoppers buying take-away online, up from 36 per cent twelve months ago.

Takeaway food is now the third-most purchased product category online, with an increase in smart-phone usage through apps such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo driving the trend, according to Sensis digital manager, Alice Mentiplay.

“Only a few years ago ordering take away food meant flicking through a bunch of old menus, phoning through an order to a noisy restaurant, then sitting in hope that the food would eventually turn up and you’d get what you asked for. Intense competition has changed the industry and people can now order their meal in a couple of touches on their smartphone and track its delivery right to their door,” Mentiplay said.

“We all know that it can be exhausting cooking after a long day at work, or a big night out with family or friends. The growth in food apps such as UberEats is driving more people to ditch cooking for the convenience of take away delivered to the dinner table or couch.

“Office workers and commuters are even jumping the queue when ordering their morning coffee or lunch on the run, with apps like Skip saving precious time as people’s tolerance for waiting has hit rock bottom,” she explained.

Disconcertingly for Coles and Woolies, the proportion of Australians buying groceries online is, in comparison, growing much more slowly, increasing from 19 per cent to 21 per cent over the last twelve months.

Both supermarket chains are investing heavily online, with Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci recently telling investors that millions will be invested in omnichannel initiatives over the next three years, among which is on-demand delivery and drive thru pick up. Coles is currently conducting a trial in collaboration with Uber, whereby its drivers deliver groceries to shoppers.

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