This year been a year like no other in memory, and Postmates is helping to define 2020 by describing the ordering trends before and during the pandemic.
The delivery service said the year started on a predictable note, with popular New Year's Eve hydration hangover remedies like Gatorade spiking 197% on New Year's Day. Customers fell in love with heart-shaped pizzas this year (a 1,800% increased year over year) on Valentine's Day.
In early March, as the global pandemic was declared and shelter-in-place orders began, on-demand orders for hand sanitizer spiked 9,987% year over year, and toilet paper saw an increase of 619%. Now consumers are loading their pantries again as the pandemic surges.
"To say 2020 was a year like no other is an understatement," said Eric Edge, SVP marketing and communications at Postmates. "We are in awe of the creativity, generosity and hope people displayed this year and are grateful for the heroes on the frontlines, including the Postmates fleet and our merchant partners, who continue to get us what we need in unprecedented times."
March also brought spikes in several categories including office and pet supplies, especially cat food. Gaming proved to be a popular way to pass the time as March saw a 77% month-over-month increase in gaming related orders including consoles like Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was popular on March 20, the game's release date.
April saw orders for face masks increase by 280% year over year. Also in early April, one of the biggest pandemic food trends of the year — sourdough bread — was up 500% year over year and sourdough bread starter kits were up 600%. The week of April 24, bleach took over the headlines and Postmates saw a 862% spike in orders.
Summer saw the biggest spike in party favors ordered during the pandemic for at-home birthdays and graduation celebrations in June. The No. 1 item ordered? Balloons.
Around that time, our hair needed help and Postmates delivered five times the amount of hair supplies year over year.
As restaurants relied on delivery and pickup, they began to get creative with themed meal kits and offers for families — in fact there was a 175% year-over-year increase in orders for family-sized meals. It's also interesting to note that fast food orders were up 50% year over year, breakfast orders increased 61%, doughnut orders were up 113% (year over year), ice cream orders were up 118%, plant-based increased 124% (year over year) and Acai orders were up 130%.
What about adult beverages? Alcohol orders were popular and saw a 49% year-over-year increase this year. When looking at the most popular drink per season, Pinot Noir took the top spot in winter. Spring's favorite choice was light beer like Bud Light or Coors Light. Summer was caught in a tie between Sauvignon Blanc and White Claw Hard Seltzer (White Claw debuted as a top trend last year and is still in the game.) The most popular drink of Fall so far is red wine with an uptick in organic red wine orders.
For the first Presidential Debate people were mostly reaching for Chinese food in September but on Election Day the most popular items ordered were pizza, alcohol and desserts like cupcakes and ice cream. On Nov. 7, it looks like celebrations were in order with a +445% week-over-week surge for bubblies including Champagne and Prosecco.