Food ordering and delivery marketplace Just Eat Takeaway has boosted its marketing budget by 20%, bringing its total spend to €153.8m for 2019, significantly ahead of the €127.8m reported a year previously.
The jump was still smaller than both order and revenue growth, meaning marketing expenses as a percentage of revenue improved.
A significant portion of the spend went on the roll out of Just Eat's first global campaign last year, under McCann, which saw the brand pivot away from a focus on convenience to instead capture the simple joy of ordering a takeaway.
Meanwhile, Takeaway.com appointed a new ad agency in We Are Pi in December as it looks to develop a comms strategy and a global ad campaign to attract new users to the service. Activity will likely centre around the upcoming Uefa 2020 championships after Takeaway.com became the official food delivery services partner.
The surging spend comes in the amid a tortuous merger for Just Eat and Takeway.com, with both businesses continuing to operate as separate entities subject to final approval of the UK's Competition & Markets Authority.
Just Eat has rung in the changes since the appointment of former easyJet marketer Peter Duffy as chief marketing officer, as part of a broader overhaul of its leadership team.
The convenience service has been busy integrating several German brands under its wing; namely Delivery Hero and Foodora, which are being hailed as a springboard for further growth and opportunities through 2020.
A bullish Just Eat Takeaway.com chief executive Jitse Groen, said: "For the first time since our IPO, the company ended the year with a positive Adjusted EBITDA. Achieving this by the end of the third quarter was one of the medium-term targets in our IPO prospectus. It is important to note that we almost four-folded our revenue since 2016 and operational profitability is still a positive by-product of our top-line growth.
“This year, we rapidly integrated the German brands we acquired, and only several months later, we announced the merger with Just Eat. We are very excited about the opportunities the combination makes possible and are looking forward to 2020."
Meanwhile, Takeaway.com reported gross revenue of €426.8m for 2019, a significant 78% jump on the equivalent figure of €240m in 2018, driven largely by higher average commission rates which account for 90% of total gross revenue.