Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Are international eaters phoning it in?

It’s never been easier to get high-quality food of nearly any imaginable cuisine delivered straight to your door. DoorDash, Uber Eats, Menulog, Deliveroo – I’d hazard a guess that you have at least one of these apps on your phone.

In fact, according to Canstar Blue’s recent survey of restaurant meal delivery service users, two in five Australians have tried more than one restaurant meal delivery service. The survey also found Australians spend an average of $44 on food delivery services each month.

So, what does this mean for the international food category in supermarkets? Is the easy access to ready-made restaurant-quality food eating into grocery’s share?

Ettason Category Manager Thomas Michaels says the growth of food delivery services has been a positive value-add to the food industry, especially during the pandemic.

“Not only do they encourage more consumers to try new cuisines during restricted times but it also promotes authentic dishes that may not have been aware to users,” he says.

“These food delivery platforms act as a support for more adventurous purchasing behaviour by educating households on how to use or consume authentic ingredients that is available in supermarkets.”

Chen Foods General Manager Marketing & Strategy Meg Terrill says Asian takeaway is simultaneously an inspiration and threat for Asian grocery brands.

“We know that Chinese is Australia’s number one international cuisine, but many households do not cook Asian food due to perceptions of it being difficult to shop and prepare, which is why so many opt for takeaway,” she says.

“To compete with the takeaway threat, Asian grocery brands will need to push themselves to develop more shortcut and convenience products for a mainstream audience, and also offer easy Asian meal inspiration to demystify preparing Asian takeaway favourites at home.”

Passage Foods Head of Marketing Heath Dickson says while food delivery services continue to grow, there is a level of consumer satisfaction in cooking a meal at home.

“Brands need to deliver authenticity and ease of use to combat these services, and a range of exciting flavours which continue to engage consumers,” he says

Tasman Foods Managing Director Henry Chen says food delivery services have affected the category to an extent, “however due to the relatively higher costs of ordering in, there will always be people who will cook at home”.

Read more about the international food category in the August issue of Retail World

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