April 10, 2020

And the winner in the world’s “new normal” is … Online Food Delivery

The victors in the new “shut-in economy”

From The California Business Journal Newswire.

New urban populations have been forming for some years now. Ubers, Squares, Twitters, in short: the work-from-homers. Now their ranks are growing, with the world grinding to a halt. Some of the novel hermits are affluent and can afford to live in deluxe apartment buildings protected by concierges. Anything they need can be delivered to them, from prepared meals to whatever item that money can buy. If they are bored and want to feel the thrill of wagering some money, here are the best online poker sites all up and ready for their entertainment. However, the star of the show is, unquestionably, food.

The on-demand economy has seen exponential surges of investment in  apps, platforms and services for several season now. A new type of social stratification has begun to form, between the modern recluse nestled up in their comfortable home-and-office hideouts and the new armies of lower-class servants, the delivery people.

They are there to stop-and-drop, not to establish any human or social contact. Some ads of food delivery services have been thought to appeal to the most antisocial part of their target public. GrubHub, for example, offered:  “Everything great about eating, combined with everything great about not talking to people.” DoorDash, one more food delivery service, pushed it even farther, with a downright extremist message, enhanced by the use of caps: “NEVER LEAVE HOME AGAIN.”

Revenues on the rise

This may sound creepy right now, but it is a fact that food preparation and delivery services are seeing a wide window of opportunity opening right now. In the UK, for example, the online food delivery segment is up 11.5% so far in 2020, with a revenue of 4,215 million pounds.

According to the market research company Statista, the number of users is also on the rise by 9.8%, corresponding to 22.5 million users. That is quite a lot of people buying their meals over the Internet, but the UK ranks only fourth at world level.

In the US, revenue in the same sectors totals US $23,991M in 2020, second after China with US $45,909M. The third largest market is India, US $9,207M, though restrictions have begun to be applied in some areas, owing to safety concerns. The big question today is exactly this: how safe it is, to have your meals delivered this way?

Smart safety

The savy entrepreneur knows how to overcome this issue. As reported by Forbes, 26-year-old chef Lucas Sin of  Junzi Kitchen in New York City started to reorganize his business at the beginning of March. His fast-casual restaurant operates three locations and is now equipped for contactless delivery that allows couriers to drop off food without touching the clients’ door. But the genial bit is the substitution of Junzi’s signature noodle bowls  with packaged stacks of ingredients. What the clients are now receiving are vegetables, proteins and toppings than they can combine themselves. They are being delivered in bags with new “integrity seal,” protected from ripping open during delivery.

What’s the point?

Risk of contamination with food is higher if a pathogen encounters an already prepared meal. Kitchens of professional restaurants today are kept as sterile as hospitals with strict hygene protocols. But receiving raw ingredients and cooking them at home is much safer. Less possibilities of tampering during transport, and then cooking kills all possible unwanted microbes.

The bottom line: the ones with the smartest ideas, as usual, will come out on top.

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