99% of the top three pizza brand online sales are direct, only 1% from food delivery operators

Key Takeaways

• In mid-February, Domino’s earned 50% share of online spend in the pizza delivery market, with Pizza Hut (29%) and Papa Johns (21%) following behind

• Domino’s market share has stayed between 49-54% market share from August 2019 to February 2020

• Nearly all top three brands sales are direct, with only 1% coming from food delivery apps

Food delivery from companies like Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats has become a mainstay in the last five years, changing how we eat and dine, delivering anything from Starbucks coffee to Burritos & cheesecake. However, pizza delivery has been part of all our lives long before any of these services came into being. In fact, legend has it that the first pizza delivery dates back to 1889 when King Umberto I of Italy and Queen Margherita (from which the Margherita pizza gets its name) were craving some of their favorite food while traveling abroad. Modern pizza delivery dates back to the 1960s when delivery systems via car began, and the first internet-enabled pizza delivery occurred in 1997.

Fast forward to 2020 and the global online food delivery industry is expected to grow from $82 billion to $200 billion by 2025. While food delivery operators are now delivering for thousands of restaurants across the US, pizza delivery companies have stayed true to mostly delivering directly to customers rather than via third party delivery services. To determine which pizza brands are winning in the online delivery game, Edison Trends took a deep dive into over 500,000 online transactions in the US over the last six months and answered some burning questions.

How do direct online pizza sales compare to pizza sales via third party delivery operators?

Figure 1: Chart shows the estimated market share based on online spending at the top three pizza delivery brands, comparing August 19, 2019 - February 16, 2020, according to Edison Trends. This analysis is based on over 500,000 transactions from Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates, and Grubhub (including Yelp, Seamless, Eat24, and Tapingo).

Domino’s is one of the leading brands in popularizing food delivery and has taken the strategy to go it alone when it comes to delivering their pizzas, avoiding food delivery operators and relying on employees from its almost 6,000 U.S. stores to bring hot pies directly to consumers via its own app.

Since August 2019, Domino’s has remained a firm leader in market share of online spend versus Pizza Hut and Papa Johns, with their shares holding steady between 49-54% from August to February 2020, according to Edison Trends. Pizza Hut, like Domino’s, has elected not to use food delivery operators. Only 1% of online pizza transactions came from food delivery operators, as Papa John’s was the only brand of the top three to partner with companies such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Figure 2: Chart shows online spend on pizza delivery from February 12-16, 2020, according to Edison Trends. This analysis is based on over 500,000 transactions from Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates, and Grubhub (including Yelp, Seamless, Eat24 and Tapingo).

During the week of February 9, looking at what customers spent on online pizza sales directly from merchants, as well as through delivery operators, 50% of the market share went to Domino's direct orders. Pizza Hut took 29% and 20% went to Papa John's.

As the market evolves, we will continue to stay on top of the latest trends. To learn more about how Edison Trends can help your business, contact us at bizdev@edison.tech. For more up-to-date insights in the e-commerce space, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at @EdisonTrends.

*The data shown is based on a sample of anonymized and aggregated e-receipts from millions of consumers in the United States.