With consumers increasingly expecting fast and convenient access to food through e-commerce, online food-delivery platforms are experiencing rapid growth.

According to GlobalData, a growing number of companies are looking to disruptive technologies as a way to improve their performance. The company’s 2018 Q4 consumer survey found that, due to surge in internet users, 42% of Asia-Pacific (APAC) consumers are making online purchase of food deliveries, with the majority of purchases being made in China and India.

The growth of smartphone and tablet use, as well as an increase in voice assistant ownership, has meant that online food aggregator services are increasing in popularity. The global mobile food services market is expected to experience huge growth between 2019 and 2025. According to Pepsico, a recent survey of foodservice operators found that nearly two-thirds say they plan to upgrade their foodservice tech in some ways in 2019.

Last week, Pepsico announced the launch of PepsiCo Foodservice Digital Lab, a suite of capabilities designed to connect foodservice operators “with the companies, services, insights, and solutions best suited for their specific digital and online needs”.

APAC foodservice delivery leading the charge

GlobalData forecasts the APAC foodservice delivery market to be the fastest growing, compared to other regions. As well as a focus on technology, foodservice operators are also paying attention to “diversifying their offerings, creating new consumer incentives, expanding their marketing budgets and setting up efficient delivery logistics” to drive down costs and reduce delivery times.

Many companies are now exploring alternative delivery options such as drone technology. Earlier this month, Uber Elevate filed an application to deliver food via drone in the San Diego area. In addition, Starship Technologies, the world’s first robot food delivery service, is rapidly expanding, completing over 50,000 commercial deliveries as of April.

Shagun Sachdeva, consumer insights analyst at GlobalData, says:

“The constantly evolving technology landscape and evolving consumer preferences have changed the way food-away-from-home companies are doing business. At the same time, the rising demand for takeaways and a growing ecosystem of connected devices have created a fertile environment for online food delivery apps to thrive.

“With foodservice delivery operators coming under pressure due to increasing costs, rapidly diverging consumer preferences, infrastructure & transportation issues and evolving regulations, their appetite for collaboration is growing. In an environment where competition among online food delivery players continues to intensify, foodservice delivery operators should focus on operational efficiency, ensure their unit economics are correct and partner with FinTech firms for constant technology upgradation to better align their offerings with the changing consumer preferences.”

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