The top 100+ on-demand apps of 2023 (so far)
Quick: what industry grossed $14 billion in revenue in 2014 but is ballooning almost 25X to a staggering $335 billion in 2025? You guessed it: the on-demand economy.
We’re talking instant food. Instant alcohol. Grocery delivery. Transportation across a city, or transportation across a nation. A date for dinner tonight … a dogwalker for Max, a massage for you, flowers for mom, and someone to mow the lawn and tidy up the den. Pretty much anything you want, almost instantly available.
There are a million different things you can get in the on-demand economy, mostly from on-demand apps like Lyft or Wag or Uber Eats or GetAround, or Tinder. Pew Research says almost 75% of Americans used on-demand services pre-Covid … imagine what the number has grown to since. Given those numbers, it should be obvious that this is not just over-privileged tech workers in expensive condos in San Francisco: this is a massive slice of society: almost everyone.
In fact, according to the National Technology Readiness Survey, 51% of on-demand customers live in the subburbs, while only 14% live downtown.
The rest: mostly rural customers in the country or small towns.
So what’s winning?
I took a deep dive into on-demand app, thanks to some data from Singular, Apptopia, Data.ai, and Google Play’s top apps rankings. There are a lot of verticals to look at, including:
- Food & Drink
- Chores/home services
- Products (with same-day or even hour-by-hour shipping, pretty much any product can be available via on-demand mechanics)
You can’t focus on everything, however, so I’m going to limit the purview to Food & Drink, Transportation, Dating, and Home/chores, with a few exceptions and side excursions into some of the other categories.
Top on-demand food & drink apps
Anyone who thinks that iOS and Android users are essentially the same should look at the top apps in Food & Drink. Yes, those constituencies are big enough that there’s massive overlap, especially for the very top apps. But there are also significant differences.
Here are the top 15 apps in Food & Drink on iOS and Android.
It’s important to note that this is a snapshot of install trends right now. When brands spend heavily to attract new customers, or discount to transition bricks-and-mortar customers to mobile-order customers, this can change quickly.
|Food & drink||iOS||Android|
|1||Dairy Queen||Dairy Queen|
|11||Crumbl Cookies||Burger King|
|14||Panera Bread||Pizza Hut|
It’s clear that there have not only been a few players who have basically invented a whole new industry in the last few years, but also those who have reinvented themselves to take advantage of a rising on-demand tide.
Uber was hit by the pandemic hard, but Uber Eats was a perfect pivot that has become one of the top players in on-demand food delivery. And now its core service of transporting people is rebounding. Yelp was reviews. It became reservations. And now, yes, you can order food delivery there too now.
A big take-away from this list of Food & Drink apps?
There’s the emerging battle of the delivery services, whether they focus on groceries like Instacart or meals like DoorDash, versus the brands or chains that make food: the Chipotles and Subways and Starbucks of the world. But brands in Food & Drink are shouldering aside the competition and claiming their customers: Dairy Queen and McDonald’s are both at the top of the lists on iOS and Android, and Starbucks, Taco Bell, Burger King, KFC, and Chick-fil-A aren’t far behind.
Of course, it’s not just food.
Drizly promises to deliver beer, wine, or liquor in under 60 minutes. (This could be dangerous.) Saucey and Buttery and Postmates and host of other players are competitors here.
Top on-demand flower apps
It might be more of a niche and there are probably fewer competitors, but you can (of course) also get flowers and plants delivered on-demand, and relatively instantly.
Flower vertical gorilla 1-800-FLOWERS shows its age whenever it says its name but has reinvented itself enough to offer same-day flower delivery. But it has a host of relative newcomers in the flowers-as-gifts department, many of which are on-demand services with extremely quick turnaround times.
On-demand flowers providers include:
- The Bouqs Co (recently rated best overall by Forbes)
- Ode a la Rose
- Venus et Fleur
- Farmgirl Flowers (fairly regional)
- From You Flowers
Of course, why give flowers once when you can give them every single month? So yes, on-demand is an option, but so is the monthly box subscription model, like BloomsyBox.
Top on-demand transportation apps
While it’s a little challenging to sort out the most-downloaded on-demand transportation apps (thanks, App Store and Google Play for putting everything travel all together), it is clear that we’re mostly talking about cars on-demand and scooters. Public transportation is there, but by it’s nature is not really on-demand … it’s available to everyone at precisely the same place and precisely the same time.
Here are some of the top on-demand apps on iOS and Android for transportation. Note that the Android list is not necessarily by volume, as it’s assembled from multiple sources with different data schemas.
|11||Grab||Veo – Shared Elective Vehicles|
|15||The Parking Spot||Superpedestrian Scooters|
The usual suspects are present, of course: Lyft and Uber leading the charge for on-demand cars. But another thing to keep in mind for on-demand cars are the services where you pay a monthly subscription fee to have access to cars you drive yourself, like Turo or Zipcar or Car2Go. GetAround is another example that actually makes our list above.
One other thing to note: it’s not just cars.
Whether scooter-sharing services are really a long-term thing or not, there are a lot of them. They’re fairly regional in many cases, and I do wonder if people download their apps more as curiosities rather than as actual dedicated and frequent customers, but the Birds, Limes, and Spins of the on-demand transportation sector are definitely still a factor, especially in urban centers and vacation hubs.
Top on-demand home and chore apps
Whether you own a home in the sticks or live in a condo downtown, there’s a lot to do around the house. (OK, maybe more with a bigger property.) So getting some help via an app on your phone can be very handy. And, of course, fast.
Here are some of the top on-demand home and chore apps in the US:
|5||TaskEasy||Tody – Smarter Cleaning|
|6||AirTasker||Leslie’s – Pool Care|
|10||Urban Company||PINCH Job|
Your experience with all but the biggest services may be hit or miss, however. Many are regional, and all rely on local gig economy workers to deliver the services they provide. So YMMV, and checking the reviews of each service as well as the customer comments for each service provider is critical.
One thing that’s interesting: TaskRabbit is so massive that its worker app, Tasker, is bigger and has more downloads than many of the other services have in total.
Pets and healthcare and more …
There is so much more in the on-demand economy.
Who would have known, a decade ago, that dog-walking apps would be so huge? There’s walks, visits for lonely pets, plus boarding — yep, daycare for dogs — and even health care available, all on-demand. Walks often cost about $20 for a 20-minute walk, or between $30-60 for an hour, so this can be a lucrative option for people who have extra time, like animals, and like to walk.
(I fit in two of those categories, so this might be a retirement option for a little extra cash!)
Some of the top services include:
Vets say your dogs need between 30 minutes up to two hours of exercise a day, so if you’re busy but you want Rover to have a good life, this is what you do.
And of course, there’s more:
- Tech support
- And just about anything else that people need, and want quickly …
To the moon?
We’re not seeing a slowdown in the growth of the on-demand economy just yet. Smartphones taught us to expect results instantly, and we’ve transitioned that learned experience into the real world.
That means app publishers and entrepreneurs are finding more and more services to fit in on-demand models, and people with time and skills are providing the labor. Economist call it the “uberification” of our economy, and it’s not slowing down in the transportation, food delivery, and home services spaces.
The even bigger growth, however, might be coming in verticals that are relatively new to on-demand, like healthcare. Hitting $335 billion in 2025 means there’s a lot more opportunity out there.