NY Interconnect: Dishing Up Choice Audiences for Food Delivery Services

By NY Interconnect InSites Archives
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As American consumers return to restaurant dining and start to get back to their pre-pandemic food-shopping routines, it might seem like the food-delivery business is in a bit of a decline. But it's actually booming, as is the opportunity for relevant brands to launch successful ad campaigns.

That's according to New York Interconnect (NYI) Advertising Account Executive Phillip Lefevre. He estimates that the marketplace will earn $64 billion in sales this year in the U.S., 12% more than in 2021. "And sales are expected to rise significantly over the next few years," he adds.

Lefevre notes that there are two separate universes of delivery firms: those that whisk prepared meals to homes and those that provide subscribers with kits for easy meal preparation.

The first group includes delivery services tied to local restaurants as well as national fast-food and casual-dining establishments. Leading players include Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats. The second group is made up of top performers like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Home Chef and Sunbasket. Other meal-kit outlets feature a specific cuisine, or in the case of Nutrisystem, help consumers lose pounds with certain foods.

Lefevre contends that even more companies are likely to enter the delivery business in the next few years, and they'll turn to TV advertising to promote their value propositions. "It's highlighting or building upon what's unique or valuable about your product or service and demonstrating what will help you stand out from the rest," he says.

The trick is to develop commercials that emphasize the best qualities of the delivery process -- convenience, access to favorite local eateries, quick ordering and easy food prep. In a sense, those general points have already been made over the last couple of years. It's just a matter of refining the messages and adding more awareness. "During the pandemic, at least for a while, these services may have been the only connection consumers had to the outside world," explains Lefevre. "Having access to basic needs in a quick and safe way provided a sense of comfort."

In New York, the nation's largest designated market area (DMA), NYI estimates that 4.5 million households have used at least one delivery service over the last 30 days. Eighty percent of adults over age 18 use a food delivery service and watch advertiser-supported video-on-demand services. "The audience in this market is tech-savvy, educated and demanding," he notes.

The more holistic and multi-faceted their campaigns are, the more likely delivery services will aim for that sophisticated TV-audience base. Landing significant business requires careful planning on the part of sellers, Lefevre maintains. When proposing a campaign, sales teams must come to the table with as much first, second and third-party data as possible. The commercials need to be directed at specific audience segments based on set-top box data captured in real time. "That helps to reach target audiences on every screen and every touchpoint along the consumer buying cycle," he says.

New York Interconnect offers a multiscreen, data-driven platform that maximizes ad spend for their advertisers. "NYI's Audience One platform crunches information on seven million TV households and provides exclusive insight into 22 million consumers in its service area," Lefevre continues. "The access to this data is available to target audiences on any screen or platform at any time. You can reach them whenever and wherever they're watching. This is a media solutions game-changer for advertisers."

As delivery commercials proliferate on TV, he expects that a growing number of the messages will help build consumers' relationships with individual local restaurants and/or national chains. Platforms like NYI "give advertisers a seat at the table, where you're able to connect with different audiences and deliver the right message to each qualified customer," he concludes.

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