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O2O Food Delivery Market Segmentation Of China

It's no surprise that food delivery is so popular these days, with busyness on the rise and a higher need for convenience. Food delivery has become a prominent trend among consumers of all demographics, according to the recent survey.

According to current market research on the Chinese O2O food delivery market by Trouver Trade, the food delivery company in China is poised for rapid expansion, owing to shifting consumption habits and increasing purchase power among the Chinese population. The country currently represents the world’s biggest online food delivery market. The rising share of income provided by online marketing services should continue to aid the food delivery segment's overall profitability. No other country spends as much money on meal delivery as China does. Chinese meal delivery companies made approximately $45 billion in sales in 2019, roughly double the amount made by the USA during the same year, making China the largest online meal delivery market in the world.

Also Read: What Online Food Aggregators in India are learning from China

Since the launch of the first online food delivery service,, in 2009, the number of clients using these platforms in China has grown at a steady rate and was rapidly elevated in 2020 due to the outbreak of corona virus pandemic, in which millions of users tried food delivery apps for the first time. In 2020, the growth rate of the O2O food delivery market in China was more than 10%. The number of O2O food delivery app users in China has expanded rapidly to 835 million users in 2020 from 406 million by the end of 2018.

Food production and supply capacities of offline restaurants have also increased due to the rise of online delivery. At the same time, the convenience and speed of the services had sparked new expectations. Due to the development of diversified consumption habits of Chinese people, the food delivery market in China had exceeded $50 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025.

The food delivery market in China consists of O2O food delivery platforms and quick retail chains like KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, etc., that have their personal delivery networks. In 2020, the gross revenue generated by the O2O food delivery platforms was nearly $16.5 billion, whereas quick retail chains generated gross revenue of nearly $35 billion through online purchases.

The segmentation is divided into

  • Taste preferences

  • Demographics


In 2020, fast food accounted for 69 percent of all O2O food consumption, with western food and regional cuisines coming in second and third, respectively. Chinese consumers favored seafood BBQ, milk tea, and desserts when ordering meals.

In China, cuisine styles and dietary preferences can be divided into various geographical categories, each with its own culinary style. The graphic below depicts some of the most popular cuisines and taste preferences in mainland China's various regions.

Northern Chinese favor salty, basic diet with less veggies, as evidenced by the map chart's division. In Northern China, wheat is the staple diet. People in Western China like hearty halal meals that feature lamb as the main ingredient. In Central China, spicy, seasoning-heavy foods are popular. The people of Eastern China have a sweet tooth, whilst the people of S. China have a salty one.


The food delivery industry in China is so large and profitable because of the segment of app users and how often consumers make purchases. The majority of people who utilize online meal delivery services are white-collar employees. In 2015, white-collar employees comprised 63% of online meal delivery app users, while students made up 30.5%. In 2020, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, only 11% of app users were students, while 83% were white-collar employees.

The white-collar business segment has higher purchasing power compared to the students and campus segment. The significant growth in the white-collar segment has directly contributed to the booming O2O food delivery market in China.

A research study in 2018 with 355 million online meal delivery app users from China revealed that nearly half of the users ordered food more than twice a week. As many as 13% of the users ordered online food more than once every day.

Consumers of online food are clustered in top-tier cities, with Shanghai boasting the highest number of users per capita.

Food delivery app users are roughly evenly split by gender, with women accounting for 51% of all users. The majority of users are under the age of 39, with 75% being between 18 and 39.

Food delivery in China is popular among all income demographics. Consumers are split nearly evenly by income level, with high-income consumers boasting only a tiny edge.

Ride-hailing app Didi has also recently entered the food-delivery market, beginning in 2018. Before local officials intervened to put a halt to the "extreme" marketing techniques, Didi gave subsidies and incentives to restaurants and consumers, prompting Meituan to follow suit. The subsidy conflicts are expected to continue as Didi expands to other locations.

Several other new players, especially from the USA, are also trying to enter the food delivery market in China has higher delivery order commission rates.

Although traditional rivals, Meituan Waimai and charge lower commission rates for online food delivery, new players like Uber Eats, Delivery Hero, and Just Eat charge higher commission rates to sustain their profits and operations. Uber Eats charges a commission as high as 44% whereas charges only 15% commission per delivery.

The above data is based on market research on the Chinese O2O food delivery market for an Indian food delivery company seeking opportunities in the highly profitable market of China by Trouver Trade.

NOTE: The above report has been published with due consent from the client. The name of the client has been concealed due to confidentiality agreement.


Trouver Trade Research and Technology Private Limited is a business development firm based in India that provides services such as market research, growth hacking, business intelligence, promotional strategies, and the development of innovative technology platforms that help businesses grow exponentially with a digital persona.

Trouver Trade empowers business Ideas with the most relevant Market Information and sustainable Growth Strategies. With our profound expertise and corporate experience, you will receive real solutions to understand your customers, expand your business, and beat the competition. Get in touch for a Free Consultation.

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