Currently, there are 3.8 billion smartphone users globally, and their number is only expected to rise. As a result, the world is increasingly dependent on mobile devices and online eCommerce stores for their day-to-day needs.
In the past few years, people have adopted the use of online food delivery worldwide. The impact of digitization has already been spreading to the remaining sectors of the food and beverage industry.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption and doubled the expected growth rate in just a few months.
In a virtual event held by The Food Business News, it was concluded that the use of online eCommerce stores in the f&b industry has leaped by five years since the pandemic hit us. It reasoned that only 19% of Americans purchased their groceries online till early 2020 but the number shot up to 40% by May 2020.
Instacart, a US-based platform for grocery delivery and pick-up, registered an increase of 8.32 million orders between February and April. In fact, nearly one-third of the American households ordered groceries online.
Similarly, the world of food delivery wasn’t left too far behind. Many restaurants avoided working with online food delivery apps earlier to protect their exclusivity. However, they had no other option but to resort to them to keep their business running.
Four major food delivery companies – DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub, and Postmates – made a combined revenue of $5.5 billion from April till September 2020, double than the previous year.
The customer’s belief and dependency on these apps have encouraged them to expand their functions on multiple fronts – a lot of them now offer services to pick up items and parcel gifts on behalf of their customers.
The sudden boom in the online food and beverage industry has been attributed to the pandemic; however, it is not likely to fizzle out once the worst is over. People will get back to eating out and buying groceries on their own, but the convenience of getting things delivered in your footstep will keep the online eCommerce stores flourishing.
The last 2 years have also resulted in some significant transformational trends in the food and beverage industry that are here to stay. Let’s find out what these are in our next segment-
Latest trends in the food and beverage industry
- Direct-to-consumer eCommerce (D2C): One of the biggest trends to emerge in the food and beverage industry has been direct-to-consumer eCommerce. Leading brands like PepsiCo launched D2C portals within a few months into the Coronavirus pandemic.