BREAD is the number one selling grocery item in South Africa. Picture: Pexels/Marta Dzedyshko
BREAD is the number one selling grocery item in South Africa. Picture: Pexels/Marta Dzedyshko

Here’s what South Africans were craving in 2021

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Nov 24, 2021

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Food ordering and delivery service platform, Uber Eats released its third cravings report this week.

According to the delivery service platform, the report is a snapshot of the most popular, the most unusual, and some of the most unique delivery order requests we see each year.

With November being World Vegan Month, they are also highlighting all the delicious options available to vegans, flexitarians, or those who just love plant-based meals. Some of the trends this year include:

Buns rule the world

Burgers remain king with over 2 000 000 orders, followed by pizzas and chicken as the most popular orders.

With a growing demand from South Africans to have their favourite local cuisines available, they have been actively increasing the availability, now offering 132 different cuisines.

Manners matter

South Africa was placed at number three last year, globally, on the app’s statistics when it comes to using “please” and “thank you” on any special order requests.

With Nelspruit and Gqeberha taking the win for the most polite cities in South Africa, followed closely by Cape Town. Eaters have even left special notes for restaurants sharing their love for their food, and great service.

Grocery delivery is on the rise

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of grocery delivery by several years – Uber Eats expanded its offering to include grocery in March last year, which has grown by 1 860% since its inception.

Of the about 600 active groceries, convenience, and liquor stores on Uber Eats in South Africa, Saturdays were the most popular days to order delivery, with the afternoon time frame the most popular time to schedule orders.

Health nuts and green machines

Eaters in Kimberley and Joburg ordered the most healthy food.

Carbs matter

Bread is the number one selling grocery item in South Africa.

It’s always 5pm on Uber Eats

As they expanded into alcohol delivery this year, folks across the world raised a glass. Without a doubt, South Africans love their beer and wine as these were the most popular orders.

Local is lekker

With a growing demand from South Africans to have their favourite local cuisines available, the food delivery platform has been actively increasing the availability, now offering 132 different cuisines.

Mogodu, Kota’s, meat with pap, and chakalaka are just some examples of popular options, as the app onboards more traditional restaurants.

Picky eaters

Eaters in South Africa can be picky – with garnish being the most requested item to be left off followed by garlic and avocado is a “big no”.

You’re so extra

While thousands of orders come without trimmings and garnishes, South Africans do love extras and making special requests, from adding extra spice to ensuring their chips are very, very crispy. Mayo seems to be a big hit for South Africans, with over 82 000 requests for this condiment.

Hold the meat

Vegan dishes proved to be more popular than ever this year, with a 45% rise in vegan restaurants joining the app and orders increasing by 42% since the same time in 2020. Vegan desserts account for a large percentage of the favourite dishes, with vegan muggachino, vegan carrot cake, and vegan chocolate cake being the favourite options.

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