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Food tech companies getting more orders; thanks to IPL, office reopening

Delivery is becoming a concern among companies including Swiggy and Zomato due to a high churn rate.

May 12, 2022 / 11:47 AM IST

Food tech companies are seeing a 10-15 percent rise in orders during the ongoing Indian Premier League cricket tournament. From Curefoods and EatClub to Biryani By Kilo, these platforms are registering strong growth during matches, company executives said.

“We saw a pickup in demand for multigrain pizzas and our very popular kulcha burgers – these are what we refer to as entertainment food… The demand during weekends was 2x as compared to weekdays,” said Ankit Nagori, founder of Curefoods.

“Another trend in April was the return of many more people to their offices. This happened to coincide with the IPL season. So, we doubled up on our conversation with these consumers as well,” said Nagori.

The 15th edition of IPL started on March 26 and is scheduled to end on May 29. The tournament was disrupted in the previous two years by the Covid-19 pandemic. IPL 13 was held in the United Arab Emirates, while last year’s edition took place in two phases – the first in India and the second in the UAE.

Overall, Curefoods saw a 1.4x increase in orders in April, mainly from the cities including Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Gurgaon.

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The average food order size had increased to Rs 400 after the pandemic. However, as more offices open, experts anticipate this may decrease in the coming months.

Business recovering

“We have been seeing a constant surge. Our offline business is also recovering and online business is growing 8-10 percent month-on-month,” said Sagar Daryani, founder of Wow Momo.

While food orders have increased, deliveries are taking longer due to attrition of staff, extreme weather, and higher fuel prices. Delivery is becoming a concern among companies including Swiggy and Zomato due to a high churn rate.

Moneycontrol reported earlier this week that companies such as Zomato and Swiggy are taking measures to curb attrition, apart from making strategic deals.

Swiggy and Zomato did not respond to e-mailed queries. However, Swiggy has suspended its pick-and-drop Genie service in multiple cities.

“The cricketing and festive season has resulted in a surge in demand for servicing the requirements for both the food marketplace and Instamart, requiring us to prioritise these deliveries accordingly,” Swiggy said in a statement.

Companies such as EatClub, which have their own delivery teams, are also facing staff shortages on some days.

“While we are seeing a surge in demand, fewer riders are showing up at work due to extreme weather (rains in Bengaluru and heatwave in Delhi),” Anshul Gupta, founder of EatClub, told Moneycontrol. “We are short on riders by about 10 percent on usual days and this goes up to 25 percent on some days.”

Gupta, who relies on his in-house fleet, says he is tackling the problem via increased pay-outs on bad-weather days and compensating for the increase in fuel prices.

As a result, average delivery times have stretched to 30-45 minutes from 20-30 minutes earlier, delivery executives said.

Meanwhile, Zomato has started its 10-minute food delivery service in Gurgaon. Zepto has launched ‘Cafe’ and is piloting the 10-minute service in Mumbai for which it has tied up with Blue Tokai Coffee, Chaayos, Gurukripa snacks and Sassy Teaspoon. The items delivered include tea, croissants, samosa and coffee.

India’s online food delivery gross merchandise value is expected to be $13 billion by 2024, clocking 12 million daily orders on an average, according to a report by RedSeer.



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Sanghamitra Kar
first published: May 12, 2022 11:47 am
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