Online food delivery platforms have seen explosive growth in Taiwan this year, helped by business opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, company executives said at a digital commerce conference in Taipei yesterday.
When the threat of COVID-19 kept people from going out to eat, more people experimented with ordering food deliveries online, Foodpanda Taiwan Co Ltd (富胖達) operations director Nick Yu (余岳勳) said.
Foodpanda started operations in Taiwan in 2012.
“We experienced 5,000 percent growth in the past 24 months,” Yu said. “That’s more than the previous six years combined.”
In 2016, only 2 percent of food orders were delivered in Taiwan, but that increased to 10 percent four years later, Yu said, adding that the market is far from saturated.
“If you look at China, about 20 percent of the food and beverage market is via delivery,” Yu said. “Taiwan still has a long way to go.”
Yu credits the strategy of localization as key to Foodpanda’s success in Taiwan.
“Sixty-seven percent of our partner businesses are local heroes — independent restaurants and even night market stalls,” Yu said. “Partnering with Foodpanda is the easiest way to gain a platform.”
Becoming a Foodpanda driver also became a good way for those furloughed in the wake of the pandemic to get work quickly.
“You can join us anytime as a delivery driver — and work whenever and however much you want,” Yu said.
Foodpanda aims to get deliveries to its customers in 30 minutes, part of a trend that Yu calls “quick commerce” or “q commerce.”
“If delivery is within an hour, you don’t need to stock up,” Yu said. “Pandamart will be a ‘shadow shop’ with 300 items that can be delivered in 30 minutes.”
An example of a “shadow kitchen,” Just Kitchen CEO Jason Chen (陳星豪) said that his business quickly took off this year.
“We only started this year and have seen rapid growth since the beginning,” Chen said. “Since July, we have had a positive cash flow.”
The penetration rate for food delivery in Taiwan was only 35 percent in March, but up to 70 percent by July, Chen said.
“It’s an explosively growing industry, but the pandemic pushed it over the top,” he added.
Just Kitchen’s innovation was to take the existing cloud kitchen concept and turn it into a hub-and-spoke system, with semi-finished food being distributed from one central kitchen along five spokes to all of Taipei, Chen added.
“That way, instead of competing with restaurants in our vicinity, we put the food right where people need it,” Chen said.
JustKitchen uses big data technology to track and analyze information related to customer orders, habits, likes and dislikes, he said.
“The data decides everything, from where we put our spokes to how much chicken we have in stock,” Chen said, adding that supplies in the kitchen are meticulously tracked for food safety and to cut waste.
Chen said that he chose to start Just Kitchen in Taiwan because of a mature local food and beverage market, low overheads and operating costs, and a high population density.
“Taiwan is the kingdom of food lovers,” Chen said. “It’s a good place to prove our model and then take it everywhere else.”
Yu and Chen spoke yesterday at the Discover Advanced Trends in E-economy Summit, a forum on trends in digital commerce organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (外貿協會).
An index launched a year ago to give investors greater exposure to China’s Internet giants is now the world’s worst-performing major technology gauge. The Hang Seng Tech Index has been on a roller-coaster ride in the past 12 months. The gauge, which marks its first anniversary on Tuesday, was up 59 percent at its February peak, but has since seen more than US$551 billion in market value wiped out amid Beijing’s clampdown on the sector. That has reduced its gain to nearly 6 percent, compared with more than 40 percent for the MSCI World Information Technology Index and the NASDAQ-100 Index. The
Taiwan should protect its vaccine supply chain and invest in vaccine development after seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted tremendous social and economic losses worldwide, Sanofi Pasteur Hong Kong & Taiwan general manager Philip Ho said in an interview this week. “When you look at the trillions of dollars that countries have lost, parents who are forced to stay at home with their children and various restrictions imposed following a nationwide lockdown, we really see what we are losing compared with what we can benefit from vaccination,” Ho said. While the government has been trying to secure vaccines since the middle
The next target for China’s cybersecurity crackdown is to be the pools of data collected by the latest generation of vehicles. This approach risks Beijing shooting itself in the foot, and jeopardizing its ambitious plans to lead the global race for electric and autonomous vehicles. China wants to have control over the information vehicles have about their drivers, the roads they traverse, and the faces and voices they pass, according to a draft law on data-security management for the automotive industry issued in May. It seeks to ensure manufacturers across the auto supply chain keep data in the country and pass
EDUCATION AS WELFARE: New regulations threaten to upend the lucrative private education sector that teaches the public school curriculum to paying families China unveiled a sweeping overhaul of its US$100 billion education tech sector, banning companies that teach the school curriculum from earning profit, raising capital or going public. Beijing on Saturday published an array of regulations that together threaten to overturn the sector and jeopardize billions of dollars in foreign investment. Companies that teach school subjects can no longer accept overseas investment, which could include capital from the offshore registered entities of Chinese firms, according to a notice released by the Chinese State Council. Those in violation of that rule must take steps to rectify the situation, the country’s most powerful administrative