The food delivery market in India has almost bounced back to pre-COVID levels. A recent blog post by Zomato stated that gross merchandise levels are roughly 85 percent of what they were pre-pandemic, up from 75 percent in August.
According to Zomato, major cities like Delhi and Mumbai are nearing full recovery, while others “have recovered completely and have exceeded pre-COVID levels.” Affluent parts of cities are driving the recovery, which makes sense given the cost of using third-party delivery services. Zomato said more high-end restaurants have also gone online, which accounts for some of the growth as well. “Overall spends on such premium restaurants have grown by over 25% over pre-COVID levels,” the company said.
Other influential factors include more at-home delivery orders for celebrations and more group orders, since everyone’s stuck at home with their families.
Of course, the caveat here is that Zomato has quite a bit of skin in this game, it being one of India’s leading food delivery services. So while the stats from this recent blog post only include Zomato’s customer base, they’re likely a fairly accurate gauge of the entire India food delivery market. (Swiggy is the only other major delivery player in India right now.)
Zomato this year also expanded its services to include groceries and household goods (a move that other third-party delivery services like DoorDash have done in other parts of the world.) The company also raised $162 million earlier this month and said it is preparing for an IPO in 2021.
Right now, Zomato’s main competitor for all this growth is Proses-backed Swiggy, which has raised $1.6 billion in funding to-date. Everything could change, though, depending on how successful Amazon is at scaling its newly launched food delivery business across the country. Neither Zomato nor Swiggy is profitable yet. Amazon, meanwhile, already has a presence in India through its Amazon Fresh and Amazon PrimeNow platforms.