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Online Food Delivery Landscape

According to the recent report published by one of the top market research firm, the retailers could lose up to 26% of profits on failure to improve their logistics system to guarantee on-time delivery despite the increased online grocery system. In 2020, Zomato, an Indian food delivery company, had taken over Uber Eats for US$350 million in an all-stock business deal. The collective entity of Zomato and Uber Eats India is anticipated to corner more than a 50% market in terms of the quantity and price of orders. Such instances prove the enormous growth potential of online food delivery system and how it is becoming a part of our everyday life.

What’s cooking in online food delivery system?

Now that the effects of the pandemic have settled, the status of food delivery system can be analyzed. Experts are estimating 20-25% increase compared to previous year. But they also see a decrease from 2019, predicting that it will take a few years to go back to pre-pandemic numbers. The following points show the current state of the food industry.

  • Takeout is King: One of the most remarkable features this year was the enormous increase of the takeout market, with numerous restaurants adding together delivery and pick-up channels. Some of these restaurants were previously on delivery platforms, but many had not considered takeout as a practical option for their category of business. 

·         Ghost Kitchens: With the associated technology getting better, huge levels of investment, and the explosion of off-premises dining, ghost kitchens are set to capture the market in 2021. It is not the ultimate model for outlets, but as more entrepreneurs and restaurant chains realize the merits obtainable in terms of savings, efficiency, and the capability to rapidly adapt to varying consumer preferences, growth will be witnessed. 

·         Robots Enter the Restaurant: AI and automation are also coming to the front of house, with McDonald’s rolling out smart menu boards and even Voice AI at its drive-thus and finding success in terms of waiting times and average order value.

·         Omni Channel is the New Norm: Omni channel is different from multi-channel in the means the channels are integrated. In an omni channel restaurant, consumers move between channels effortlessly, getting a constant experience whichever way they connect with the restaurant.

The Food Ecosystem

Food is an element of each domestic budget, yet the sum we spend can differ greatly. At the turn of the millennium, household spending on food as a proportion of disposable income in the region ranged from 8% to over 40% (Sri Lanka).But there are indicators that the portion of income exhausted on food across the Asia Pacific is starting to increase. The figure below shows online food revenue in the selected Asian countries for 2019:

Key Trends in the Food Industry

The food industry undergoes various shifts in the consumer preferences over the years. Adapting to latest trends gives a competitive edge to the enterprise by helping satisfy the needs of the consumers. The few key trends in the sector are listed below.

  • Meal Kits Continue to Grow: Meal kits can provide value in two consumer areas that are rising in popularity. Meal kits satisfy growing demand for healthy meals and snacks, while also making home cooking both easy and highly accessible.
  • Gummification of Foods and Supplements: Gummies are quickly becoming the go-to delivery system for countless nutrients, vitamins, supplements, and super foods. New apple cider vinegar goods are an example.
  • Food Delivery Becomes Part of Daily Life: It is not undisclosed why meal delivery has turned into so such accepted means of food: it is an extremely suitable way to access city’s restaurants. Public concern over venturing out to grocery stores and restaurants amid the pandemic has only increased consumer demand.
  • New Vegan Food Categories: Food and supplement companies are starting to take notice. Not only are there “plant based” labels plastered on more food items than ever before, but there are even new categories designed specifically for people that follow plant-based or strictly vegan diets.
  • Demand For Keto Food Products on the Rise: The keto diet requires consumption of very little carbs in favor of high-fat dishes. Currently, keto dieters are no longer limited to meals consisting of steak and salad. As an alternative, individuals that eat keto can now consume keto-friendly versions of their preferred foods, including bread, cookies, and more.

Online Food Delivery becoming an Indispensable Part of the Food Industry

Our tastes and preferences are evolving. Technology and globalization mean we have more options than ever and nowhere are this easier to see than in food.  In the Asia Pacific, the food ecosystem is changing to adapt to these trends. With this coming of this change come new opportunities. For example, technology enables more food producers to sell directly to consumers, and restaurants can reach new customers through food delivery platforms. However, it is still an interrelated ecosystem with different players reliant on others for long term growth and success. It is difficult to predict exactly how future trends will impact this ecosystem, and the food industry.

Author: Pawnendra

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