What We Ordered in 2020

The unprecedented ordering trends of 2020 revealed.

Remember 2019? What a simpler time. 

Like every year, you went big for New Year’s Eve. But as soon as 2020 started, so did the hangover, with hydration orders like Gatorade spiking 197% on the first day of the year.

Cuddles > Reservations

To the couples who decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the couch, we have a sneaking suspicion you would have gone out if you knew what was around the corner.

But, alas, you opted for delivery and chill. To celebrate, February 14, 2020 saw an uptick in heart-shaped pizza orders (a heart-racing 1,800% more than the year before) and of course, plenty of flowers (4,462% more from the previous week, to be exact).

From there things got unpredictable… 

Orders during lockdown changed dramatically, trading in sushi and milkshakes for a different kind of convenience. Take hand sanitizer— it surged 9,987%. Oh, and toilet paper? It rolled into a 7-fold increase.

Your home used to be where you went to relax and sleep. Overnight it became your office/school/restaurant/arcade/bar.

Left your notebook in the office? You’re not alone. Office supplies climbed 18.5% in March and school supplies were up 47%. The most popular item for school was a pencil sharpener.

It wasn’t just you spending more time in the living room, your furry friends were there, too. And it looks like they deserved a treat because on March 13, pet supplies saw a 57% spike.

More time at home meant, well, more time to fill. Thankfully, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on March 20th. Right around that time, we saw a 77% increase in gaming-related orders compared to the month before. And when it came to consoles, everything was in play with plenty of purchases of Playstation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch. 

Alone Together

Even though we couldn’t physically be together, it was clear that you were still connecting over food. March saw big growth in customers sending friends and family Postmates Gift Cards—a 315% increase over the previous year. 

The sense of community was strong with the average tip to our Fleet increasing as did the amount of customers leaving them notes of gratitude all over the country.

On March 20th, a new gift magically appeared—one that brought people together all over the world, no matter their age, race, or gender. That’s right, Tiger King made its debut.

And while there were lots of cool cats and kittens getting in on the fun, Night Owl in Miami took the cake cookies.

For 4/20 they debuted the Tiger King Kit, complete with two tasty creations:

Cool Cat Snack – A raspberry doughnut inside a cookie topped with a red marbled white chocolate glaze. 

Tigers Milk – Signature dough stuffed with homemade tres leches ganache, topped with Frosted Flakes, and finished with Leche Condensada drizzle.

Munchies and White Claw and Bleach. Oh my!

Want to hear the least surprising stat of the year? You ordered more munchies on 4/20. Yup, there was a 31% increase that day in orders for gummy bears, Hostess, Kit Kats, and other munchable favorites.

But let’s backtrack for a second because once April hit, things were changing. Face masks were in high demand (up 280%), sourdough bread was officially having a moment (loaves up 500%, starter kits up 600%), and you were ready for a drink (alcohol orders spiked 65% compared to the month before).

That’s right, staying home during SIP meant you were ready to sip—adult beverages saw a 49% increase overall compared to 2019. So let’s take a look at the most popular drinks, season-by-season.

In the winter, Pinot Noir took the top spot.

By the time spring came around, you were ready for a light beer, like Bud Light or Coors Light.

The reigning beverages of summer are no surprise: Sauvignon Blanc and White Claw Hard Seltzer.

And to round it out, the most popular drink of fall was all of the red wine with an uptick in organic wine orders

Something else spiked in April, and you should definitely not drink it. The week of April 24, bleach took over the headlines and we saw a 862% spike in orders. Coincidence?

The New Virtual Reality

As events went virtual, orders got more interesting. Take the EDC: Las Vegas Virtual Rave-a-Thon. During the show, someone in Washington D.C. requested a unique add-on to their fast food order from Taco Bell: 10,000 hot sauce packets. 

Yup, things were getting even weirder. And as if you needed a reason to stay inside, May was also when murder hornets first showed up in the U.S. 

Once we finally got used to attending concerts and shows virtually, it was our turn to throw the pandemic-friendly parties at home. When June popped up, so did party favors. The #1 item ordered? Balloons. 

June was also the time when you became your own hair stylist—whether or not a fly was chilling on your head for a full two minutes. You ordered 5x as many hair supplies as you did the year before. We can deliver what you need, but hey if your new look didn’t look good, that’s on you.

After finally cutting the whole family’s hair, you earned yourself a treat. West Coast customers are tried and true when it comes to their favorite dessert of the year: Chocolate chip cookies. But on the East Coast? They like a little more pep in their sweets, opting for Tiramisu.

From National Taco Day to National Pizza Day and all the National Food Days in between, which is the most popular? National Ice Cream Day on July 19.

And then, it finally happened. Live sports returned! 

Watching the game on a Monday night? Then we have it on good authority that you ordered pizza, chicken wings, or tacos—the 3 most-ordered items every gameday.

You Can’t Mute Delicious

A quick list of 2020’s top cravings

Fast Food: Up 50%

Donuts: Up 113%

Ice Cream: Up 118%

Plant-Based: Up 124%

Acai: Up 130%

Eat Local, Shop Local, Order Local

Restaurants knew that more families were ordering delivery and pickup more, so they got creative. There were more family-sized meals ordered in 2020 than ever before, increasing over 175%  compared to last year. 

Remember Friday nights out on the town? Not so much in 2020. On Friday, we  kicked back on the couch and ordered dinner early.

On September 29th, we all had an extra reason to be glued to the TV: It was the first Presidential debate. The most popular culinary choice that night? Chinese food.

With the holidays around the corner, it looks like plenty of people are getting  a jump on gift giving by going stress-free—just get it delivered. We launched Postmates Shop on October 27 and saw a 39% spike in retail orders

Halloween was just a few days later, and even though your number of trick-or-treaters decreased, the number of treats was still rising—38% more candy was ordered compared to last year. 

Then came November 3rd, the big Election Night. Pizza, alcohol, and desserts like cupcakes and ice cream were the favorites (in that order). On Saturday, November 7, it looks like celebrations were in order with a 445% increase in bubblies including Champagne and Prosecco.

Ending on a Sweet Note

Postmates has always been about supporting small businesses and this year, you stepped up to order from locally-owned restaurants (up 50%) and Black-owned restaurants where we saw an increase of 5x.

Giving back was also an important focus in 2020, with it being the biggest year ever for FoodFight!—our program that makes it easy for restaurants to donate their unused food to agencies in need. This year, 188,293 meals (nearly 3x the amount of 2019) were delivered to agencies in 72 cities. We also partnered with Feed Hero Nurses in March and have since delivered 16,000 meals to frontline healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. 

Thank you to the Postmates fleet, our restaurant partners, and the frontline workers everywhere who continue to provide essential services. Without a doubt, they are the true heroes of 2020.