A combo meal is a marketing strategy. In a combo, different food and beverage items are combined to create a single attractive sale offer. Combo meals play an important role in quick-service restaurants (QSR), and it has been universally popular. According to a survey conducted by 800 US respondents in 2021, 65% of respondents purchased a combo meal from a QSR in the past month [1]. Indeed, people have always loved their food paired with a favourite drink or combined with a side dish or order. Value for money, efficient to order, and easy to grab, combo meals have become a popular on-the-go option these days.

Focusing on combo deals is an optimal strategic approach for beverage brands to grow their businesses in food service aggregators (FSA). Identifying which menus are missing certain beverage products (e.g. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar) and collaborating with FSAs to list these items can increase product visibility and enhance brand awareness on the platforms. Moreover, these deals increase customer loyalty by fulfilling customers’ needs for ‘saving money’. It also aids their customers to make more prudent and economical decisions when ordering online. Lastly, combos with a beverage are proven to drive incidence and increase rapidly in sales. A drastic increase in footfall and purchases due to the discounts on combo meals can bridge the gap created by the reduced prices and bring in a hefty profit [2]

By leveraging Dashmote’s Data Analytics SaaS platform, we conducted extensive research into combo deals for beverage brands on food delivery. The research was taken from three dimensions–brands, countries, and platforms. After reading this article, you will have a comprehensive knowledge of the dominant brands that are used in combo deals on food delivery.

Beverage brands that are dominating food delivery combos

Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Fanta are the top 3 brands in global food delivery with combo deals. There are 31% of Digital Storefronts (DSFs) in our database listing Coca-Cola in at least one deal. There are 21% of DSFs listing Sprite, and 15% listing Fanta. As a long-term competitor of Coca-Cola, Pepsi also strives to benefit from the growth of food delivery platforms by partnering with delivery aggregators for combo meal deals. However, the global combo penetration rate for Pepsi ranks 4th in our database at 11%. This is only 1/3 of Coca-Cola.

Undoubtedly, Coca-Cola, as the most consumed soda in the world. It dominates food delivery combo deals by partnering with major FSAs around the globe. However, we should never underestimate Pepsi, which is also seeking growth opportunities in the food service sector. It has been rolling out a new ghost kitchen format, Pep's Place, for food and beverage delivery in 2021. It seems that Pepsi is leveraging the popularity of virtual restaurants and ghost kitchens to provide a unique "beverage-first" customer experience that reverses the idea of ordering food first and making drinks an afterthought. By partnering with major delivery platforms such as DoorDash and GrubHub, Pepsi is keeping pace with the latest digital trends and reaching its full potential to grow in the global food delivery sectors.

Which countries sell more combos on food delivery

According to Dashmote’s Q3 data, Italy has the highest combo penetration rate. It has 84% of DSFs on food delivery in Italy selling a combo. This is followed by Northern European countries, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. The combo penetration rates there vary between 78% to 65%. Surprisingly, even though Northern Europe is well-known for its high living costs and wages, food deliveries in these areas are striving to provide their consumers with economical food options. Moreover, South Africa and Australia both have a combo penetration rate above 60%. The U.S., with the largest restaurant base of over 700k DSFs on its major delivery platforms, have a combo penetration rate of 46%. This means that over half of the DSFs on food delivery in the US don’t list a Combo in their menu cards. This leaves plenty of room for beverage brands to improve their menu strategies in the U.S..

Which food delivery platforms sell more combos

Mr D.Food from South Africa has the highest combo penetration rate across major delivery platforms around the globe. It has over 80% of its DSFs selling Combos. This is followed by Smood, a food delivery platform in Switzerland, with a penetration rate of around 67%. A Danish platform Hungry (66%), A Canadian platform SkipTheDishes (62%), and Gojek (61%), a platform that operates in Southeast Asia, made up the rest of the top 5 platforms selling combos. Interestingly, in the U.S, Grubhub has a combo penetration rate of 58%. This is over 2 times more than the combo penetration rate of DoorDash (22%). This indicates that restaurants and beverage brands on DoorDash can keep on developing a faithful consumer base by offering combo as a business strategy of temporarily compromising on the meal prices to acquire surplus in the long term.

Combo offers is a successful business philosophy by numerous businesses. On food delivery, the usage of combo offers can have multiple advantages. Including increasing your beverage listings on the platform, enhancing product visibility and awareness, and increaing customer loyalty. However, to successfully use this strategy, beverage brands need to have a comprehensive understanding of the industry trends. This includes which platforms serve more combos, which country prioritise combo deals, who are the biggest competitors in combos. These questions serve as important guidelines for beverage brands to consider when adopting combo strategies.

Who are we as Dashmote

Dashmote is the leading big data and AI analytics company in the food & beverage industry. We help F&B enterprises by empowering leaders and analysts to track and analyse publicly available data to contribute to making strategic decisions for your brand. Do you want to know more about retrieving market insights across food delivery and F&B?

→ Please contact sales@dashmote.com.