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January 26, 2022



How can on-trade brands succeed in the age of Delivery Heroes, Uber Eats or Wolts

Martin Müller

Content Lead

This article is also available in other languages

When the covid crisis first struck and the whole on-trade market had to close down, home delivery services seemed like a miracle saviour to many. Restaurants and other outlets could continue  serving their consumers and maintain or even grow their business. Beverage brands have seen a much less favourable impact.

Whereas in-person dining usually means ordering a drink or two from a broad beverage menu to accompany the meal, most people use delivery services to order just food without the beverage, and the trend does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. There are several reasons for that, from the urge to spend less, a very limited beverage section in the delivery menu, to the simple fact that people generally have something to drink at their homes - bought at retail for a lower price.

This is a massive challenge for beverage producers all over the world. 

To measure the gap between numeric distribution in the on-trade and the delivery channels, we have expanded the scope of Market Meter to include data from major delivery services about offers of individual outlets and transactions.

READ MORE: 2 major hidden costs of the on-trade channel you should know about. And how to stop them from eating away at your profits

Distribution lost, money lost

As an example, let's use the energy drink category, a staple product of many bars, pubs, and restaurants in the Czech market.

We have found out that the distribution of energy drinks in the delivery services category is just 12 %, about 1/4 compared to the whole on-trade channel (more than 50 %). That means 3/4 of potential revenue is lost. Quite a stunning drop. The numbers are similar or worse (e.g. spirits) for other beverage categories.

As you can see, this is a huge issue on one side, but maybe an even bigger opportunity on the other. 

Brand manufacturers are testing a variety of initiatives to improve availability and sales in the delivery channel. From focusing their sales reps / campaigns on improving delivery channel availability, improving margin on “delivered” beverages, launching dedicated packaging, to working directly with the likes of Uber Eats or Just Eat. Whatever path one chooses, two points are critical from an insight / data perspective:

  • Knowing the gap for your brand or product and measuring the progress to close it. This will give you a headstart on your competitors, who will be still in the dark about how much potential profit they're losing every day and the valuable feedback on how successful your actions are.
  • Knowing where to focus. Not every outlet has a successful delivery business, not every outlet can have a successful beverage delivery offer. Outlet Census can help easily pinpoint the right outlets to focus your commercial efforts, get your products on their delivery menus, and close the gap or at least make it smaller and smaller over time.

FREE ON-TRADE DATA: Discover the on-trade market position of your brands and your competitors completely free of charge

Rapid digitization means more opportunities than ever

Thanks to Outlet Census and Market Meter, both based on 100+ million weekly data points, we have a complete picture of the market, encompassing every on-trade outlet there is. We are able to prepare custom projects in the form of analysis, outlet targeting and more tailored specifically to your brand or product.

SharpGrid is harnessing the power of the digital revolution happening in the on-trade right now. Let us use that to your advantage. If you're unsure how your product, brand or whole category is doing in delivery services and would like to start looking into this, let us know, and we'll help your products get to the homes and offices of the consumers.

SharpGrid is a data & tech company reinventing market research in the on-trade channel. The on-trade channel consists of POSs (point of sale) where food & beverage is bought and consumed, and is often also called HoReCa, on-premise, food service, out-of-home, gastro or immediate consumption (IC) channel, hospitality, on-licence.


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