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Feb, 2021     

What’s cooking in FoodTech: Part 1 – Delivery

Grab & Gojek dominate the market across SEA and players looking to expand services towards grocery and other allied categories to increase use cases for customer & drive stickiness


1. Onset of Covid-19 resulted in sharp decline in food orders, however strict hygiene measures and fatigue caused by lockdowns resulted in re-alignment of discretionary spend and food orders bouncing back

The impact of the pandemic on Food Delivery was multifaceted.

With the onset of the pandemic towards the end of Q1CY20, consumers across SEA became paranoid and started taking social distancing and hygiene measures resulting in a dent in the demand. As a response, food delivery platforms undertook a host of measures such as regular temperature check of delivery boys, no-contact delivery, hygiene-related campaigns, etc. This, coupled with the fatigue that settled in due to the lockdown among consumers being confined at home, resulted in a steady recovery in Food Delivery order volumes over the next few quarters. Curtailed discretionary spend in other avenues, percolated into Food ordering among many cohorts of the public.

Volume of orders in Food Delivery, Time trend with Q4’19 indexed to 100

2. Grab & Gojek dominate the market across SEA; players looking to expand services towards grocery and other allied categories to increase use cases for customer & drive stickiness

The Food Delivery sector in SEA comprises regional giants such as Grab and Gojek along with other players like Deliveroo, Foodpanda, Now, Baemin, etc.

Grab and Gojek dominate the market in SEA and account for almost three-quarters of it. This can be attributed to their super-app positioning and regional presence, with extremely strong brand recall. There are a few other notable players in some of the markets that have done well and one strategy that everyone is employing is widening their offerings by foraying into allied high usage frequency categories like groceries.

The idea is to create 1 or 2 anchor categories with high-frequency usage among customers (and grocery is the best bet here) such that it results in at least a weekly/fortnightly touch point with users which can go a long way in making the platform a household name.