By Benson Michael
Technology based businesses received a huge boost in 2020 and businesses without digital footprints were forced to review their operation model, as Covid-19 crippled global economic activities for most part of the year.
Most of these tech-inclined shifts will become part of the new normal. E-commerce gained more traction in advanced and developed markets. Many small businesses had to embrace e-commerce to stay afloat, while global brands also formed strategic partnerships with major retailers to reach their numerous customers.
In Nigeria and by extension Africa, the increase in the online food and groceries shopping was conspicuous. Though online food ordering has been part of the African e-commerce community, in recent times it became a trend to reckon with during lockdown and local cuisines displayed the prospect of being a major catalyst for growth in the food cum agricultural sector of African countries if properly harnessed.
“I think one of the trends that we’re seeing on the rise is the demand for food delivery services. That was already the case prior to the Covid-induced lockdown era, but the lockdown certainly escalated it exponentially. More and more, partly for safety reasons, and for convenience, consumers are opting for food delivery options as opposed to take out or eating-in. We’re even seeing an uptick in people who choose to use grocery delivery services as well,” said Pop Singer and CEO, Sooyah Bistro, Bankole Wellington.
An online Food Index report by Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, Jumia showed that the online food ordering in Africa is at a rapid development speed.
According to the report, the growing popularity of fast food, coupled with the growing trends for convenience and value for money, have opened up opportunities for the food market in Nigeria. Consequently, the food and grocery retail market had total revenues of $44.9 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7 percent in the last eight years.
Interestingly, the report revealed that local Nigerian cuisines lead the preference on Nigerians compared to continental dishes, with 64% of orders being placed for lunch.
In top Nigerian cities: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan, local meals remain the most popular on the Jumia platform, while foreign foods such as Pizza, Chinese and Shawarma are growing fast as Nigerians explore various meals available to them.
The Place, Kilimanjaro, Sweet Sensation and Drumstick are the most popular local food vendors due to the affordability of their offers, while Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Cold Stone Creamery and Pizza Hut come out as the most popular international brands in the country,” the report read in part.
Jumia Nigeria CEO, Massimiliano Spalazzi said local meals will be vital for the future of the online food market in Nigeria and many people will rely heavily on having their hot meals and groceries delivered at their doorsteps, as against going out to offline retail stores to purchase. The government of each country continues to deal with the pandemic in the best ways possible.
Yet, even after the pandemic is gone, the convenience of food delivery will still hold such a great appeal. More consumers will therefore look to Jumia as a reliable alternative to staying safe and saving money. Local Nigerian meals will continue to be among the top three cuisines being ordered because of its affordability and appeal to the local communities. Subscription model will change as many food vendors will partner with existing models such as Jumia Prime.