App orders projected to see 17% growth
Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research) projects 17% growth for online food delivery through apps this year as the coronavirus outbreak has discouraged people from visiting restaurants.
"The coronavirus pandemic has stimulated growth in online food delivery. Coupled with the emergency decree, the market this year is expected to grow 17% from 33-35 billion baht in 2019," Anantaporn Lapsakkarn, senior researcher at K-Research, told the Bangkok Post.
Last year, K-Research predicted food delivery would grow an average of 10% per year, faster than the food business at a 4-5% clip per year.
In the first half of this year, the food delivery business is seeing a surge, mainly because of the outbreak, with competition rife among delivery apps.
Once the pandemic winds down, whether online food delivery will become the new normal for Thai customers is hard to predict as food prices via delivery services are more expensive than eating out, he said.
"Customers are still concerned about their spending," Mr Anantaporn said.
"Restaurants are expanding online and handling their own deliveries without relying on apps and super apps, instead spending more time on working with new food merchants to collaborate on delivery."
K-Research downgraded restaurant business revenue this year to 402-412 billion baht from the previous projection of 439 billion.
"The rise in food delivery revenues is not sufficient to offset lower restaurant revenues," he said.
Meanwhile, the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) found in a survey conducted over March 5-15 that 85% of 376 respondents use online delivery services.
The survey noted Generation Y (19-38 years old) used online delivery the most at 51.1%, followed by Gen X (39-54 years old), baby boomers (55-73 years old) and Gen Z (below 19).
When asked why they ordered food online, 80.4% said they do not want to eat out, followed by having no desire to wait in lines (57.6%) and using discounts on apps (47%).
Some 88.5% of people ordering food online use apps, including GrabFood, Line Man, Foodpanda and Get Food, which come with various promotions.
A full 62.9% said they ordered food directly from a restaurant's website or app, while 13.1% ordered through a direct message to a restaurant's Facebook or Instagram page.
The most popular cuisine ordered online was fast food (61.1%), followed by made-to-order dishes (47%) and noodles (40.5%).