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Friday, September 17, 2021

Food deliveries move beyond fine-dining – to snacks and light bites

While until now, the deliveries focused on their core cuisine, they are now exploring new avenues - small eats and street-food

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: September 6, 2021 8:49:39 am
food deliveryWith the pandemic driving focus on hygiene, scales seem to be tipping in favour of the organised sector. (Representational, source: pixabay)

Over the last 18 months, with pandemic-induced lockdowns forcing restaurants to remain shut for most, even the five-star hotels and fine-diners have turned to food delivery, not to mention the proliferation of cloud kitchens across the country. While until now, the deliveries focussed on their core cuisine, they are now exploring new avenues – small eats and street-food.

Momo, considered to be the No. 1 street-food in India, is estimated to be a $2.7 billion market, but nearly 97 per cent of this is unorganised – served by hawkers and street kiosks. However, with the pandemic driving focus on hygiene, scales seem to be tipping in favour of the organised sector. Prasuma – one of the premium meat and delicatessen brands, offering frozen ready-to-eat momos as their signature product, claim their sales have increased manifold over the months of the lockdown. In fact, buoyed by the response, they are now set to launch three new varieties – Cheesy Spicy Veg, Mutton and Desi Chicken.

Lisa Suwal, Chief Growth Officer of Prasuma, says, “The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown led to significant transformation in consumer behaviour. While at home, individuals were encouraged to try new flavours and food products, it also bolstered the focus on health and safety. While we saw a rising interest in frozen foods, there was also an increase in caution about the quality of food, the process of making it, and the ingredients. In fact, Prasuma saw a major fillip in sales.”

momo Prasuma’s Kung Pao Momo (Source: PR Handout)

Currently, Prasuma’s products are present across 70 cities. Suwal adds, “We are looking at rapid geographical and product expansion, and have partnered with companies like Meatigo.com, Nature’s Basket, Walmart and Bigbasket.”

While Prasuma has been around for three decades, sandwich-delivery brand MoonMoon – which launched in December 2020 – also has a similar story to tell. They offer Crustwiches, MoonBurgers, Crust Dogs and SnackWiches, their version of sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs.

Ashwin Jain, Director of Instapizza, who launched MoonMoon, says, “MoonMoon landed on the Earth shortly before the second wave and realised that home delivery is relevant at all meal times. People are looking for great breakfasts, snacks, and also light lunches and dinners that go way beyond the traditional scope of ‘main course’ dining.” In fact, Jain says their upcoming line of CrustDogs and SnackWiches are designed to address exactly this segment – when people are peckish and want something delicious, but perhaps are not in the mood for a full meal.

Some new brands have also come up catering extensively to the light-bite segment. In February this year, VDeliver was launched as “a one-stop-shop, offering 10 menus under one hood”. Chef Sahil Singh, Culinary Head at Vdeliver.online, says, “We have quick snack dishes on almost every brand; some of those options are very convenient for people who are working from home and going out for a quick meeting.”

Their meal options include cuisine-specific brands like Origami (Asian food), Sehar Saanjh (spicy Indian), Salt n Sugar (bakery), Dragon Dray (Chinese), Honest Buns and Roll Sholl. “In the current scenario, people avoid going out and prefer small get-together at home. Our patrons love to try more snacks than main course dishes and we understand because sometimes we are also okay with skipping the main course as we end up filling our stomach with delicious quick snacks,” adds Singh.

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