Vietnam is well-known for its cuisine as well as its vibrant food scene. Food is an integral part of its culture, and the Vietnamese food culture has been experiencing changes over time. For instance, the Vietnamese people of today are highly digital consumers with busy lifestyles who value convenience. As a result, the country has seen a growth in demand for services such as online food delivery in recent years. The COVID-19 outbreaks have further intensified the usage of these services, including grocery delivery, as dining out was not an option during lockdowns and the stay-at-home orders were in place in many cities across Vietnam.
Online food delivery landscape in Vietnam
Online food delivery is a relatively young but fast-growing industry in Vietnam. In 2020, the market size of this segment reached approximately 587 million U.S. dollars, and it was forecast to become a billion-dollar industry by 2022. As Vietnam is an emerging market with a lot of potential for these services, the competition in this sector is fierce. Since the beginning, Asian food delivery businesses have been dominating this market. While Southeast Asia’s super app Grab’s food delivery arm, GrabFood, held a 40 percent share of the market in 2020, fellow Singapore tech giant Sea Group recently acquired the Vietnamese app Now and inherited a 42 percent share of the Vietnamese food delivery market. In the same year, the rest of the market was shared between two unicorn startups, South Korea’s Baemin and Indonesia’s Gojek. Meanwhile, Loship, a homegrown delivery startup, has recently joined the race. Although it has yet to gain a major slice of the market, it has so far received significant attention and funding from investors.
Will online food delivery remain popular after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in online shopping usage among Vietnamese people, including the use of online grocery stores and food delivery apps. During the most widespread COVID-19 outbreak in the second quarter of 2021, Google searches for online grocery stores increased by over 200 percent in the country. Additionally, a recent survey on food delivery usage revealed that over half of the respondents stated that they had used these apps more often during the pandemic, and almost all of them would keep using these services after COVID-19-related lockdowns. Just like other e-commerce trends, online food delivery is here to stay, as it fits right in with Vietnam’s new connected consumer generation and their appreciation for convenience and, of course, good food.
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