New Delhi, Delhi, India

Online shopping is increasingly becoming more vital to people and this trend has been travelling developing nations vigorously. There is ever growing need of products and services alike with higher margins and easy accessibility. This has led a way to online shopping and e-commerce in the Indian market. The trend started with clothing, books, electronics and then extended to cabs and now recently to food delivery.

Currently, there are more than 150 food-tech based start-ups in India, out of which some are at national level and many at regional levels. Many have got funding as well for improved operations and this trend is giving a boost to food industry. Currently, most of the food-tech start-ups are being operated in metro cities with few in tier-1 cities but the studies depict that soon they will explore the untapped markets of tier-2 cities. Also, there are various trends changing in the industry. Beginning from restaurant take-outs, it has moved to home cooked food delivery and recently to diet-specific food as well. In future, it is expected to see more changes in this industry owing to increasing competition.

Craft Driven Market Research, a firm in market research and consulting, studied 70 food-tech start-ups in India and examined their operations and market. The study was done to highlight the upcoming trends of the industry. The key points of the report are:

  • Food-tech industry is segregated into 8 different categories now which include beverages, chef prepared, diet specific, gourmet food, home cooked food, meal deals, on order preparation and recent category of order while travelling
  • Currently, 30% of the companies are working on the model of on order food
  • 53% companies have been funded in past 2 years
  • Restaurant take-outs have got maximum funding of 500 million INR
  • Home cooked and diet specific based food techs are the emerging categories
  • The number of investments in 2016 is expected to slow down by 18.52% as compared to 2015

In addition, the firm studied logistics and merger and acquisitions in this industry. Aakanksha Aggarwal, founder, Craft Driven Market Research said that the rise in the use of smartphones and e-commerce websites has resulted in the emergence of world-class logistics facilities in the country. Many food tech start-ups now rely on third party providers for logistics which helps them provide better customer satisfaction and on time delivery. There are various companies working in the domain such as Roadrunnr, Opinio, Grab.in, Quickli and Shadowfax. These companies will also grow year on year basis with the increasing number of orders.

The study prepared by the firm also highlights the projected number of orders for years 2015-2020 and it is expected to increase continuously with rising population working in the corporate sector. The report claims that there will be more consolidations in the industry which will eventually stabilize the whole industry. Currently, there are certain big players such as Zomato and FoodPanda and several regional players which are active in few tier-1 and metro cities. The resultant industry would be confined to only a few big players and a lesser number of regional players.

The firm has done an additional study in the report based on certain parameters that include a number of daily orders, social media coverage, and customer reviews. The firms have been demarcated on the basis of the above parameters and defined into categories of leaders, runners, targets and seeking growth in context to merger and acquisition. Craft Driven study states that the companies lying in the range of target are highly prone to some form of acquisition while those in the range of runners are more prone to take up to merger possibility with other players.