The online food industry is slowly making inroads in the city. As the market is more visible here, major national brands are in the process of making their presence felt in Kochi.
The number of online ordering of food in the city has risen from five about three years ago to around 100 per day now. Young working professionals and people who worked overseas are the major customers, sources said.
Yummybay, an online food ordering website started in 2010 in Kochi, expects to increase the number in the future. Eyeing the business opportunity, India’s largest online food portals justeat.in and foodpanda.in are all set to open shop in the city this year. The most preferred meal ordered online is dinner. “We have a small presence in Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram cities in Kerala. The company has been able to generate good business for our partner restaurants like Pizza Corner and US Pizza which is very encouraging. We want to expand our reach in these cities with more partner restaurants,” said Sandipan Mitra, director (Sales and Marketing), justeat.in.
The online food market has a huge potential in India as the internet population is 20 crore. Metro cities contribute 65 per cent of the total traffic in the online food segment.
With the increased internet and smartphone penetration there is a huge potential in the tier two and three cities as well, experts said. Ketty Cherian, chief executive officer, Yummybay, said that when the company started three years ago it was very difficult to pass on the message to the public.
“Initially, we received only a few orders. But the trend has started catching up quickly. We have found out that people who have returned from overseas and young professionals below 30 are the major beneficiaries of this facility. Now Yummybay has tied up with 760 restaurants across the state and with 150 in Kochi,” he said.
He expects more companies to start the online food business here. According to Ritesh Dwivedy, founder, justeat.in, restaurants and food retail chains are turning to online ordering by tying up with various online food ordering platforms in small cities too.