, Singapore

Marketing Briefing: F&B, groceries to thrive in 24/7 service

This is driven by the 2.2 billion internet users in the Asia Pacific region.

A trend that is seen to continue is the “24-hour service culture”. Digital living supports the “anytime, anywhere” mindset where consumers expect to be served 24/7 by businesses regardless of the products and services that they are consuming. 

“Minimising food and grocery delivery timeframes from a few days fixed slot to on-demand few hours delivery as offered by Amazon Singapore, the exceptional rise of superapps such as Grab in the food and grocery delivery ecosystem, as well as the increasing participation of restaurants and bars to serve on-demand at-home social occasions are all part of the party to celebrate the 24-hour service culture,” said Euromonitor Research Consultant Radhika Singal. 

New technologies are creating massive upheavals in customer expectations and COVID has accelerated the move to digital for many. 51% of the APAC population are now online and there are 2.2 billion internet users in the region.

“There is a high mobile internet penetration rate of 99% as several consumers in the region leapfrogged the desktop era with them accessing the internet for the first time via their smartphones,” Singal added. 

Deloitte reported in the “Global Powers of Retailing 2021” that the impact of COVID-19 boosted a ‘stay-at-home’ focus among consumers as in-home consumption and online shopping and delivery became the trend globally.

“To avoid the risk of infection and the practicing of social distance, consumers have to spend more time at their home,” said Narain Chutijirawong, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Co., Ltd. director for Clients and Industries.

Categories leading the retailer product category mix include: food and drink, home improvement, household goods, home-based health and beauty, and home-based leisure and entertainment. Finding their places at the bottom of the  list are categories: apparel and accessories, cosmetics and suncare, and luxury goods.

“This ‘stay-at-home’ focuswhether working, being entertained, or learning from homehave created sharp rising demand in those products that are related to ‘in-home’ consumption, such as food for cooking at home or other housing activity products, like home improvement or household goods,” he added.

In another study by Euromonitor International titled, “Top 100 Retailers in Asia in 2021,” it was mentioned that curbside pickups and drive-throughs will continue to persist in the next few years as consumers turn to alternatives to physically shopping in-store.

Euromonitor Senior Consultant Emil Fazira said that drive-through and curbside pick-up are examples of last-mile solutions that enable consumers to independently collect their purchases at their convenience without having to shop in-store. 

“This is, firstly, a way for consumers to shorten the shopping journey and reduce waiting time; business models that have become more popular amidst the pandemic, like direct-to-consumer models, have helped to mould consumer expectations on how quick and easy remote purchases can be,” Fazira said.

“Secondly, consumer concerns that are still relevant, like hygiene and social distancing, further motivate consumers to seek alternative ways to receive their purchases with minimal social contact. The persistence of such concerns amongst consumers and habits that may stick following the pandemic call out a need for new last-mile solutions for both fresh food and grocery,” she concluded.

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