In May this year, a survey by Red Seer said it will take India's $4 billion food delivery sector at least 12 months to return to pre-COVID levels across top metros and maybe even longer in smaller towns and cities.
But India's love for food along with an efficient food delivery ecosystem has proven all pundits wrong. The sector is back on the growth track, with most cities now clocking a growth of over 85 percent of the pre-COVID gross merchandise value.
While as predicted, the recovery was led by metro cities. In many markets, food delivery is now at 95 percent and in some more than 100 percent of the pre-COVID levels, according to data collated by Swiggy.
Order volumes in over 70 cities are back to normal. Interestingly, as people continue to stay at home, Swiggy has seen a growth of 30 to 40 percent in average order value over pre-COVID levels. Also as IPL kicked off, food orders have doubled across tier 2 and 3 cities.
If you are wondering what Indians love to eat, chicken biryani wins hand down, and it's the most ordered item on Swiggy pan India to be finished with a generous dose of choco lava cake. To discuss the outlook for the food delivery sector in India, Shereen Bhan spoke to Vivek Sunder, chief operating officer of Swiggy.