The growth of online food delivery

by Nakampe Molewa: General Manager: SSA, Uber Eats.
While most economic sectors and traditional businesses have been battered by COVID-19 and the lockdown responses to the pandemic, the online food and essential delivery industry has grown exponentially over the past 18 months - demonstrating the kind of resilience and flexibility that will drive its continued expansion and success long after the virus has been brought under control.

We've got more eaters, they're staying longer and they're eating more - there has been a fundamental behavioural shift that has gone on in South Africa and globally.

The trend towards on-demand essentials is evident in Uber Eats’ latest data, which show an 1860% increase since inception in March 2020.

During the recent Level 4 lockdown in South Africa, Uber Eats data showed that categories of products like grocery, convenience and pharmacy have grown by 28%, 13% and 32% respectively, through the Uber Eats app across South Africa. Essential product purchases via the app have also spiked during this period with items such as toilet paper growing by more than 100% in sales followed by bread at 46% and personal care goods, such as deodorant, increasing by 11%.

The online food delivery market is a sunrise industry with the potential for massive development and expansion. In South Africa and Kenya alone, where Uber Eats currently operates, the potential market for our unique brand of technology-driven food delivery services amounts to over 30 million people, indicating that we have just scratched the surface so far.
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