At a time when news reports suggest that growth of food technology companies such as Zomato, Swiggy and Uber Eats have flattened at about 3.4 million daily orders after an exponential growth in the early part of the year, the recent Food Moods Of India Report of Uber Eats (which talks about the food consumption habits of consumers who order food through food-tech apps) could give them a few insights to tweak their strategy.
While Bahar Ka Khana has become a way of life and an average Indian is no longer apologetic about serving restaurant-cooked food to her guests at home, what is indeed surprising is that over 53 per cent of the respondents said that ordering food from restaurants turn out to be more expensive than hiring a cook or buying groceries. Does that mean that Indians don't want to cook? Or is cooking becoming more of an experience?
On one hand, modern retail companies are incessantly promoting their international cuisine offerings and are forever holding pop-ups at their stores, while the Uber Eats report shows that 48 per cent of Indians prefer to order food multiple times a week, while only 34 per cent prefer to enjoy a meal in a restaurant. So does this indicate less number of restaurants or will popular restaurant brands have more take-away kitchens? The restaurant business has surely got hit due to the economic slowdown, but consumers' increasing preference to eat restaurant food in the comfort of their homes could just be another reason for the restaurant footfalls dwindling.
According to the Uber Eats report, around 36 per cent couples prefer spending their special moments in their private space and get food delivered rather than celebrating it in a restaurant, while 19 per cent respondents get food delivered in order to have some "me-time". While the likes of Swiggy and Zomato do advertise that they even deliver small portions like a single scoop of ice cream, creating options and spreads to celebrate dates or a special event in the family could be a good idea.
The report also says that only 7 per cent of consumers order breakfast on food delivery apps. The reason for this is there are less takers for breakfast as there aren't too many options of restaurants which serve breakfast.
While eating healthy is a huge rage among the millennial, the Uber Eats report says that a bulk of the consumers who order on food delivery apps don't necessarily order healthy food. Indian Chinese and the good old biryani and butter nan and dal makhni continue to top the chart even when it comes to ordering through food delivery apps. Here again, there is a gap to be filled in, as consumers feel that there aren't enough healthy options available. So, how about curating more healthy food menus or getting home chefs on board? The likes of Swiggy and Zomato do have home chefs but they are far and few.
Like all businesses, food techs also need to innovate and reinvent for the next phase of growth.