scorecardIPL nail biters, munchies and the demand for ‘sides’
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IPL nail biters, munchies and the demand for ‘sides’

IPL nail biters, munchies and the demand for ‘sides’
Business3 min read
Source: Pixabay
  • The recently concluded IPL 2023 saw a 7% spike in food ordering, claims a report by Redseer.

  • Food ordering shot up 14% in Tier 2+ cities – that’s over 2X more than metros and Tier 1 cities.

  • Bulk order discounts will still help the market grow, says Redseer.
It’s 7:30 pm… Chennai Super Kings are going to take on the Mumbai Indians… sixes and fours are going to flow… time for some munchies? A report by Redseer has found that food delivery platforms like Zomato and Swiggy rode the IPL wave to their benefit and in the process facilitated sale of ‘side dishes’ the most, especially in tier-2 cities.

A closer look at the report shows that pan-India the growth in food ordering due to IPL this time around has been only a modest 7%. For context, during the IPL seasons of 2018 to 2020 – before the Covid-19 disruption, the spike was anywhere between 43-52%.

It is noteworthy that in that phase food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato were much more aggressive in their customer acquisition campaigns which spanned from high-decibel prime time TV ads to offering exciting discounts.

This time around, however, most of them are in retrenchment mode with a focus on profitability and opted for subtle and low-key strategies. Kushal Bhatnagar, associate partner at Redseer Strategy Consultants says that during the IPL seasons from 2017 to 2020, online food delivery giants offered discounts ranging between 50-60% across a wide array of restaurants, integrated their offerings with OTT platforms, and created customised advertisements for maximum impact.

“These efforts even led to a spike of more than 50% in the IPL 2020 season. However, in the 2023 IPL season, there was a noticeable change in approach”, he added.

The silver lining: Tier2+ cities wake up to the party

Bharat or the Tier-2 cities’ love for all things new has come as a rescue in these times. Food ordering in this segment grew more than twice the rate seen in metros and Tier 1 cities. While the growth was at 6% in metro and Tier 1 cities, it was at 14% in Tier 2+ cities indicating the creation of new use cases amongst nascent users during the event.

Also, group watching of IPL was one the triggers that led most people to order food online. “During the IPL, we go to our relatives’ house, which is nearby, and watch the match together. Since there are so many of us, we order some snacks to eat while watching the match,” a Tier 2 consumer was quoted as saying in the report.

Such consumers, Redseer believes, can be targeted via bulk order discounts. Nascent online food ordering consumers’ outside food occasions typically involve group orders like relative, friends, family visits, the report says.

Another Tier 2 consumer said that his wife, who is an IPL fan, was too engrossed in the match – and that led to food ordering. Redseer believes that most users in Tier 2+ markets stay in a joint family system and any ordering is governed at a family level. They can be targeted with family campaigns.

Mature urban consumers prefer to order the main course of food online – indicated by the fact that biryani has always been the most popular dish ordered online. But that’s not the case with the new and emerging markets – they can be brought into the fold with complementary cuisine.

“Complementary cuisines such as dessert and snacks are preferred by these consumers, and they can be tapped via focused campaigns and right supply,” Redseer says.

Apart from campaigns, online food delivery giants will also have to build a supply of restaurants and suppliers who can take care of these consumers’ need for the ‘extras’ that will enhance their regularly home-cooked meals.