This recent research project showed that food delivery is regarded as an important or essential service by 90% of interviewees, both for the housebound and for restaurants who can thus carry on working. No less than 60% of those interviewed have used food delivery on a constant basis during the lockdown, a crucial figure which underlines a new consumer trend and habit.
There is also growing demand for home delivery services by restaurants and businesses (bars, bakeries, various food stores) which did not previously provide them, and which now regard food delivery as a concrete boost for their sales.
Delivery is thus not only seen as practical help in these times of great restrictions, but also as a treat and a pleasant alternative to going food shopping.
In the overall positive trend towards home consumption, during the lockdown, orders from gelato parlours grew by 58% in the last month, twice as much as in the same period in 2019. These figures emerge from research by another leading home delivery company, Deliveroo. One of the interesting things about the results of this survey is that they show which cities have a passion for gelato delivery – Milan on top, followed by Rome, Florence, Cagliari and Bergamo with Pavia, Bologna, Ferrara, Parma and Monza making up the rest of the Top 10.
The most popular flavours are creams, that seem to have got the better of fruit flavours.
Favourites include hazelnut, pistachio, stracciatella and chocolate, while strawberry is the most popular fruit flavour.
This huge consumption of gelato is undoubtedly due to the desire not only for sweeter flavours to raise morale during these doldrums, but also for the right nourishment for this spring, which in recent weeks has featured beautiful weather and high temperatures.
Given this high demand, many ice-cream parlours have started to set up their own delivery service, whereas many others have been using such systems for years.
A system that is currently proving to be a success for many gelato parlours, both large and small. Of course much of the success that gelato parlours offering a home delivery service have been having comes from their location – local gelaterias, but also well-known parlours in smaller city centres, are receiving plenty of orders. It’s been somewhat harder, though, for newer gelato parlours, for those in shopping malls or in suburban areas. Managing a home delivery service is fairly simple, as it involves two different options: Using delivery apps, well-known to and widely used by the general public, especially in larger cities. Although they involve high costs, they do give great visibility, helping you to make a name for yourself and reach a wide target group of consumers. The second option is to organize your own delivery system. Many gelato parlours have already set up their own systems, handling bookings, setting a maximum distance for deliveries and calculating transport costs for delivery services.
The secret is not to give up – make sure that you come up with a good system for communicating with customers and promoting your parlour. Your own Facebook and Instagram pages help to spread the word among the general public and potential new customers, as well as encouraging word of mouth among users, another way to get yourself in the spotlight. It should also be noted that, in recent weeks, many gelato parlours soon managed to set up their own door-to-door delivery systems, either by creating digital apps to manage the service or else hiring third-party companies to handle the orders and the deliveries for them.