Cost of convenience

The UK spends £19.3 billion on a range of convenience services from food deliveries to subscription boxes.

Georgia-Rose Johnson

by , shopping and travel publisher

It’s been a long, hard day at the office, and to make matters worse, your train journey home is plagued with delays and cancellations. Do you decide to wait an hour for the next train before rolling up your sleeves and knocking a dinner up that Jamie Oliver would be proud of, or do you look to convenience services, like grabbing an Uber while ordering dinner on Deliveroo?

If it’s the latter then you’re not alone, as Finder’s new research found that 1 in 5 Brits (20%) regularly spend money on said services, which equates to a whopping £19 billion a year. Below, we analyse how Brits are spending their money on different forms of convenience.

Overview

It comes as no surprise that takeaway food tops the convenience stakes with a third (34%) of Brits spending an average of £32 per month on the likes of Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat. That’s over £570 million per month and almost £7 billion a year to get food to our doors.

In second place are car services, with almost a fifth of Brits (18%) spending a monthly average of £29.87 on the likes of Uber and Addison Lee. Meanwhile, 16% use handi-workers, such as gardeners or cleaners, for £36 a month.

The results also found that 14% of Brits cough up £28 monthly for subscription boxes like Graze and Hello Fresh, while the same percentage of pet lovers spend £31 on pet services, such as walkers and groomers.

Service No. of people using service Monthly spend per service user Total monthly spend Total yearly spend
Food delivery (Uber, Deliveroo, Hungry House, Just Eat etc) 17,800,000 £32 £570,000,000 £6,800,000,000
Subscription boxes/services (Hello Fresh, Graze, Birchbox) 7,700,000 £28 £213,000,000 £2,600,000,000
Pet services (walkers, groomers) 7,600,000 £31 £232,000,000 £2,800,000,000
Handi-services (dry cleaning, house cleaner) 8,500,000 £36 £310,000,000 £3,700,000,000
Car services (Uber, Addison Lee) 9,700,000 £30 £290,000,000 £3,500,000,000

How does spending on convenience services differ across the UK?

Unsurprisingly, Londoners indulge in convenience services more than any other region, with 29% of the capital’s population spending an average of £34.28 per month. Whereas East Anglia is the region to rely least on the likes of Uber and Just Eat, with 14% of the population spending roughly £29.63 a month.

Percentage of population spending on convenience services in each region

Region Uses food delivery Has subscription boxes Uses pet services Uses handi-services Uses car services
East of England 23% 13% 10% 14% 9%
East Midlands 28% 10% 16% 12% 12%
London 44% 21% 21% 27% 33%
North East 50% 20% 16% 20% 20%
North West 35% 16% 13% 15% 21%
Northern Ireland 31% 20% 20% 24% 20%
Scotland 37% 15% 14% 14% 14%
South East 27% 11% 13% 14% 14%
South West 32% 11% 11% 12% 13%
Wales 32% 14% 15% 16% 13%
West Midlands 37% 18% 15% 17% 22%
Yorshire and the Humber 35% 10% 11% 11% 21%

How does spending on convenience services differ between generations

When it comes to generational trends, finder.com found that millennials and generation Z (post-millennials) are most likely to indulge in convenience. A third of gen Z (33%) and 30% of millennials use such services, compared to just 7% of the silent generation and 1 in 10 baby boomers (10%).

However, while millennials and gen Z are the most likely to use these services, they generally spend less than older generations. The average monthly spend for these age groups is £21 and £26 respectively, while Gen X and baby boomers who use convenience services both spend an average of £33.

The starkest contrast between age groups can be seen in the food category, where 63% of gen Z call in help when it comes to food, spending £25 on average each month for takeaways, versus only 8% of the silent generation who spend roughly £23.

null Silent (Born 1928-1945) Boomers (Born 1946-1964) Generation X (Born 1965-1980) Millennials (Born 1981-1996) Postmillennial/Generation Z (Born after 1996)
Food delivery (Uber, Deliveroo, etc) 8% 15% 39% 52% 63%
Subscription boxes (Hello Fresh, Graze, Birchbox) 0% 6% 17% 23% 24%
Pet services 5% 9% 17% 21% 17%
Handi-services 18% 10% 18% 22% 17%
Car services (Uber, Addison Lee) 2% 8% 19% 31% 41%

How does spend on convenience services differ between genders

Lazy. Slaves to convenience. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all here in black and white. Men are also more likely than women to surrender to convenience, with 22% spending a monthly average of £35 on food delivery, £33 on car services and £30 on subscription boxes.

This is compared with 17% of women who are prepared to spend their monthly wage on pet care (£32) and handi-work (£42).

Service Females using services in percent Males using services percent Female's spend Male's spend
Food delivery (Uber, Deliveroo, Hungry House, Just Eat, etc) 33.33% 34.59% £29.06 £35.03
Subscription boxes/services (Hello Fresh, Graze, Birchbox) 11.96% 17.35% £23.7 £30.71
Pet services (walkers, groomers) 12.16% 16.84% £32.11 £29.62
Handi-services (dry cleaning, house cleaner) 13.43% 19.08% £41.7 £32.61
Car services (Uber, Addison Lee) 16.67% 20.41% £25.32 £33.73

UK vs US

It’s not all bad. Brits’ spending came significantly lower than that of our friends across the pond, who shell out a whopping $177 billion a year (£136 billion) for these same time-saving services.

Like us, food delivery is the biggest convenience, with roughly 45% of Americans paying $63 each month on the likes of Seamless, UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Caviar and Eat24. That’s the equivalent of £48 a month and £16 more than us Brits are willing to part with.

Commenting on the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO (UK) at finder.com said: “Paying for conveniences like takeaway dinners and car services is inevitable sometimes, what with longer working hours, childcare responsibilities and the stress this may cause. But if you do decide to get a takeaway or an Uber, taking a quick look at the discount codes and promotions on offer can save you money.”

– Jon Ostler, UK CEO at finder.com

Methodology

  • Finder commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
  • A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
  • Jon Ostler, CEO (UK) of finder.com is available for comment regarding the research.

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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