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Analysis: 3 Foodservice Delivery Trends in 2023, according to Third-Party Delivery

Even in the face of record inflation, consumers have remained resilient and have stuck with third-party delivery apps for the convenience of a delivered meal. But what delivery trends emerged in 2023?

A series of reports released in third quarter 2023 by Grubhub, Uber EATS, and DoorDash highlighted the trends on their platform Food Institute analysis found spicy foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and the ubiquitous French fry were among the most popular trends of 2023.

Spice and Everything Nice

Grubhub noted over 53 million items in 2023 were ordered with added spice, with classics like Sriracha proving popular with consumers.

“Classic favorites like Sriracha were added over 91,000 times, and buffalo chicken wings came in first as the most ordered wing flavor followed by lemon pepper, BBQ, Teriyaki, and Garlic Parmesan,” read the report.

Spicy potato soft tacos, spicy chicken sandwiches, and spicy tuna rolls were among the most popular spicy dishes ordered on the Grubhub platform in 2023.

On Uber EATS, “spicy” was the No. 5 delivery request in the U.S. The spicy chicken sandwich was the No. 5 item ordered on DoorDash, too.

Alcohol and Traditional Beverages Have a Moment

DoorDash noted two alcohol varieties were among the fastest-growing sellers on the platform, finding a 648% increase in whiskey orders and a 317% increase in rum.

Vodka was the top seller on DoorDash, and Uber noted that the most popular combination of food and beverage on its platform was vodka paired with a ribeye steak.

Grubhub reported that Diet Coke was the most-ordered soft drink on its platform in 2023, with in-office orders rising by 17%. It also found that people were winding up and not winding down after work, with 10 million coffee beverages ordered after 5 p.m.

French Fries Reign Supreme

What’s the most ordered item across all platforms in 2023? It should come as no surprise to Food Institute readers that French fries retains the lead, holding on a title we first reported on in 2021.

Grubhub reported 600,000 customers ordered a salad paired with French fries in 2023, and DoorDash said fries were among a larger trend of consumers reaching for finger foods.

What’s the most popular delivery combo with French fries? Neither ketchup nor mustard – according to Uber EATS, it was salt.