Food Delivery Via Drone Continues To Gain Momentum

In recent years the way we get our food —from restaurants and grocery stores — has changed greatly. Thanks to curbside pickup and home delivery services offered by supermarkets, restaurants and third-party companies, it's much easier for busy people to save time getting their groceries and providing meals for themselves and their families.

While the trend of online grocery shopping gained considerable momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by ChaseDesign shows that people are starting to return more to shopping in person. The survey found that people who utilized buy online pickup in-store "all the time" is projected to decrease and has already begun its decline. In 2021, the number of people who shopped this way decreased by 45% to 32%, according to the survey. 

Home delivery for restaurant-made foods is also seeing declines as people feel the squeeze of the rising costs of goods due to inflation. Reuters reported that GrubHub and Amazon signed a deal in July 2022 that would provide Amazon Prime customers a year of free GrubHub delivery services, which is giving the food delivery company a boost as it predicts a decline in demand.

Are drones the future of food delivery?

Despite a lessening demand for some delivery methods for food, one company continues to invest in drone technology as the next way to get goods to customers. Flytrex announced in July 2022 that it will expand the area it delivers goods to customers, and by doing so, will be able to service 100,000 people, up from 40,000, according to Restaurant Dive. The on-demand drone delivery company works with restaurants and retailers to get items to buyers in Granbury, Texas, Holly Springs, N.C., Raeford, N.C., and Fayetteville, N.C. Two existing clients are It's Just Wings and Maggiano's Italian Classics.

"We look forward to continuing this exciting flightpath to one day bring three-minute delivery to the tens of millions of backyards across the U.S.," said Flytrex co-founder and CEO Yariv Bash in a statement.

A survey conducted by Auterion found that consumers are very open to having their goods brought to them via a drone. Of the more than 1,000 people polled, 58% responded that they like the idea of drone deliveries. In addition, 54% of survey respondents said they would consider drones as a way to receive small and last-minute purchases. As people still want to receive items they purchase in a convenient way, could drone delivery be the next big thing?