Internet penetration, COVID-19 make online food ordering popular in India, growth expected to reach US$8B in 2022- Google

INDIA – The online food ordering sector is arguably one of the few sectors that have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than they were before it occurred.

According to a recent report by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), during the pandemic more people shifted from conventional retail markets to online food deliveries catalyzing growth at rates never imagined before.

The situation was even more pronounced in developing countries such as India where online food ordering and e-commerce in general was still not fully embraced by consumers.

As a result of this shift in consumer behaviour, Google and BCG said in a recently released report, that in Indias, the online food ordering market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25-30 per cent to touch $7.5-8 billion by 2022, up from $4 billion.

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Such a positive outlook is certainly good news for multiple food technology brands, including the world’s largest fish and meat online e-commerce platform FreshToHome.

FreshToHome managed to raise a total of $121 million in a Series C funding in the middle of the pandemic, a such a bright forecast restores confidence in the viability of its business moving forward.

According to the report, greater internet penetration into tier 2 and 3 markets has also worked as a catalyst for online food companies such as Licious, Grofers, BigBasket, Zappfresh, and Milkbasket.

This, coupled the pandemic, with their accelerated the reach of these companies and resulted in newer groups of customers and higher profits.

Moreover, mobile-based apps, tech integration including QR-based menu display, and contactless payments have all become in a norm in India’s food industry today- this was not the case a few years ago.

Rapid digitization and a consistently growing consumption multiplied the reach of food tech aggregators between 2017-2019 by six times, according to the report by Google and BCG.

And if statistics are anything to go by, even the time spent exploring and ordering food online has almost doubled from 32 minutes in 2017 to 72 minutes a month in 2019.

 It is also anticipated that the food ordering frequency is estimated to rise by 18-20 per cent, though average order values may slow down by 5-10 per cent as consumers order smaller portions but in higher numbers.

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Food lovers are ready to pay for food tech innovations for the convenience it offers without compromising on quality.

Moving into 2021, it is safe to say that the pandemic-accelerated consumer interest towards a more holistic approach to health has led the food tech industry to rapidly emerge as one of the fastest-growing in India and is now changing the way the country eats.

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