Increasingly popular: World-wide turnover in the online food retail industry is expected to increase sevenfold to 365 billion US dollars by 2030. Photo: #207353932 | Copyright holder: Piman Khrutmuang / fotolia.com
Online food services: China is a pioneer
Food deliveries are booming. Whilst having a pizza delivered to your home for a movie night has been around for years, the demand for fresh and frozen foods that can be stored in consumers’ own kitchens or processed straight away is constantly growing. So instead of thinking “supermarket”, consumers now think “internet”. But convenience is not all they are looking for. Food is expected to arrive at their homes quickly in environmentally-friendly packaging that is aesthetically pleasing. However, box contents and delivery frequency differs from country to country.
Germany: Germans are more hesitant – the share of online turnover in the food retail industry only amounted to 1.1 percent in 2017; just under 45 % explained their reluctance with a lack of trust in the quality of the products, fear of long delivery times and high prices. Generally, there is more choice in urban centres than rural areas, where generally only smaller retailers and local supermarkets ship goods that have been ordered on the internet. The bonus principle: Nevertheless, according to a survey carried out on 1000 consumers, little extras can tempt Germans into ordering their food via the internet. The survey found that 49 percent of all respondents would click the order link if they were given a money-back guarantee, 45 percent if they were promised a replacement product if the goods were not available on the same day and retailers could lure in 44 percent by offering free delivery services.
Cooking boxes are also popular. They contain the exact ingredients required to cook the meal at home – including the recipe. Photo: HelloFresh
Challenges for the packaging industry
Yes to convenience, no to waste – this is what customers are looking for. According to Nestlé, 66 percent of millennials are prepared to pay more for their online food purchases if packaging could be recycled or was made of re-usable materials. Each additional product required should only be used where helpful or where needed. For example, the delivery service Green Chef, which belongs to the HelloFresh group, has reduced the amount of ice packs in their delivery boxes and thus simultaneously uses 20 percent less material. British online delivery service Deliveroo offers customers an opt-out function on their orders. They then automatically receive their delivery without disposable cutlery and with straws made of cornflour. Soon, this will also be available in Thailand.
Custom foods and ready-made meals
US American companies in particular are rethinking their strategies and are orienting themselves based on the increasing demand for ordering food online. The coffee house chain Starbucks, for example, plans to deliver their products to consumers’ doors soon. Likewise, in the near future customers will be able to place orders directly on the homepages of the Campbell Soup Company and Kellogg’s. Coca-Cola may not accept direct orders, however, they have already designed special packaging for shipping their beverage bottles for orders placed on retailers’ websites.