UK independent parcel carrier Yodel delivered a record number of parcels over the Peak period, up 37.4% on the previous record set in 2019 between 15th November 2020 and 2nd January 2021.  

With consumers looking to end 2020 with some positivity, there was a surge in everyday premium items passing through Yodel’s network as families settled in for a Christmas at home. Increased demand for alcohol and fresh food, in particular, made a significant contribution to Yodel’s record year, with volumes in this category up by 89% with 3.2m parcels delivered. Fresh food parcels increased by 101% including for gourmet pasta recipe box company Pasta Evangelists.

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Alessandro Savelli, Founder and CEO of Pasta Evangelists, said: “Demand for our fresh pasta recipe boxes soared last year and Yodel’s expertise in handling food made them a hugely valued partner, especially throughout lockdowns and the busy holiday season. They consistently go the extra mile to meet customer expectations and we look forward to working with them to bring our fresh boxes to more homes in the year ahead.”

The surge in demand for food and drink follows the wider pattern of online shopping. A recent report from Kantar shows that lockdown has permanently changed some consumer’s shopping habits with digital orders making up 12.6% of all groceries in December, compared to just 7.4% in the same month for 2019.

Mike Hancox, Chief Executive Officer at Yodel, commented: “The run-up to Christmas is always the busiest period for us but this was by far the most intense.

“Christmas was different for everyone this year and we saw consumers looking to capitalise on the benefits of doorstep delivery. Food and drink ecommerce in particular was a key driver over the Christmas period.

“The whole year for us has been defined by the unprecedented numbers of parcels being delivered. We were operating at ‘2019 Peak’ levels from March through to November, with volumes up 20% compared to a ‘normal’ year.

“We operate a flexible network and understand the importance of ensuring that delicate goods are handled with care and delivered on time, especially over Christmas. Our state-of-the-art handling facilities and our specially trained colleagues hopefully helped consumers to have something to smile about this Christmas.”