Shelter in place orders drove massive, immediate change in food buying trends, according to new Marqeta data

With statewide shelter-in-place orders currently confining 95% of America’s population (across 45 US states) to their homes, on demand delivery platforms have become critical infrastructure for people to feed themselves while staying safe and healthy. 

It has fueled a paradigm shift in behavior across America in regards to how we feed ourselves, the scale of which could not be predicted two months ago. For context, last week, Instacart announced that after bringing on an additional 300,000 shoppers following the COVID 19 lockdown, they would add another 250,000.

At Marqeta, working with the vast majority of on demand delivery pioneers, we’ve had a unique view of this massive change in demand. Market leaders like Instacart, Postmates and Favor rely (among others) on Marqeta’s flexible, global and scalable modern card issuing platform.  

Since the start of March, we’ve seen on demand food delivery volumes through the Marqeta platform more than triple. 

When we look a little deeper at this trend, some clear things stand out.  

Shelter in place changed American habits in unison 

While our data shows that on demand delivery volumes were growing before statewide shelter in place orders were executed, as these orders were put in place across the weeks of March 23rd and 30th, an immediate, seismic shift took place in how Americans bought food.

In the week of March 23rd, half of American states saw jumps in on demand food delivery of 40 percent or more, with demand in some states increasing by as much as 83 percent. The following week saw similar gains, with two thirds of American states seeing jumps in demand for on demand food delivery of more than 30 percent.  

People turned to on demand delivery platforms, well outside of America’s major centers 

Looking at Marqeta platform data, demand for ordering food on demand doubled (at least) in 47 of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Of the 10 states with the largest jumps in demand, only one of them (Illinois) ranks among America’s 10 largest states. We saw huge growth well beyond America’s major population centers. ODD volume in Vermont rose more than 6x (Connecticut and Louisiana more than 5x).

Regionally, New England saw the largest shift in demand, with volume more than quadrupling since the start of March, with demand more than tripling in the Southeast and through the Great Lakes region (Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio). Growth in the Southwest, Plains and Rocky Mountain regions was flattest.    

How ubiquitous this shift has been, points positively to how enduring the change will be when America re-opens. On demand delivery has changed the way Americans shop and it’s here to stay. 

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