French Fries Keep COVID Lockdown Title of Most-Ordered Food Delivery Item

French fries, bacon and cheddar cheese on top.
Marcelo Araujo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

When the going gets tough, the tough get French fries — and so does everyone else, apparently. The ever-popular French fry ranked as the top-ordered food item in 2021 at both DoorDash and Uber Eats, proving once again that when it comes to grim events like a global pandemic, nothing soothes the soul (and belly) quite like thin-sliced potatoes cooked in scalding hot oil.

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Orders of French fries from food delivery services showed massive gains in all kinds of concoctions this year, according to a new analysis from the Food Institute. For example, Uber Eats noted that orders of cheese fries rose a whopping 1,234% when compared to pre-pandemic levels. DoorDash logged robust year-over-year gains for cilantro lime fries (+341%), waffle fries (+178%), and garlic fries (+127%).

But weep not for regular old French fries. Their orders climbed 130% in 2021, according to DoorDash.

The Food Institute analysis also found that the moves by DoorDash and Uber Eats to enter the grocery delivery space have proven fruitful for both platforms, especially on weekends. Uber Eats said its most popular delivery slot for groceries is 5-7 p.m. on weekends, while DoorDash said dinner time on Saturdays is the most popular.

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In terms of other popular delivery items, it should surprise exactly no one that alcohol also ranked high during the pandemic. All three major delivery platforms — Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub — reported higher alcohol deliveries in 2021.

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But what kind of alcohol, you might wonder? In terms of spirits, DoorDash and GrubHub reported very stout gains in deliveries of margaritas. As for wine: Cabernet Sauvignon came out on top, with Josh Cellars’ version proving to be a particular hit with customers.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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