Food delivery in MENA bucks global downward trend

The food delivery space has had a tough time lately, especially in Europe.

Since the start of the year, Britain’s Deliveroo and Germany’s online delivery service Delivery Hero have lost around half of their stock market value, and another German on-demand grocery delivery company, Gorillas, has is withdrawn from Italy and Belgium.

Dutch multinational and Grubhub owner Just Eat Takeaway has done even worse, currently trading at around one-sixth of its May 2020 peak.

Related: More layoffs on the horizon as part of the French restructuring of Just Eat Eyes

While the stock market isn’t always a good indicator of financial health, given that none of the food delivery giants above have yet turned a profit, dwindling investor confidence is certainly a concern. .

Read more: Delivery Hero eyes profits by next year

See also: Battle for London rages on as Q-Commerce aims for profit path

But while food delivery services may decline in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region appears to be bucking somewhat the slowing trend in aggressive growth strategies that delivery have continued in recent years.

Learn more: The fast appears dead as ultra-fast grocers retreat en masse

The MENA region remains resilient

Far from ending their operations, local and international delivery players operating in the MENA region seem to be stepping things up.

For example, Deliveroo recently rolled out its grocery delivery service, Deliveroo Hop, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the service is currently available in five cities.

More on this: Deliveroo UAE launches fast delivery grocery service

Delivery Hero also has its sights set on the MENA country following its purchase of Kuwait-based Talabat, considered the largest online food ordering company in the Middle East, as well as the UAE subsidiary of the food aggregator. Indian restaurants and the food delivery company Zomato.

Meanwhile, Uber’s Middle East subsidiary Careem also has a strong proposition in the country, operating a food delivery service app called Careem Now since 2018.

Careem has strengthened its presence in the MENA markets where the company has ambitions to consolidate its transportation, food ordering and financial services into one super integrated app. In June, the company bought Dubai-based Munch:On, bolstering its ability to deliver food in the country in a bid to gain an edge over rivals.

See more : Careem bolsters food delivery space with acquisition of MUNCH:ON

Outside the UAE, Careem acquired a stake in Egyptian food discovery startup Elmenus, giving the company exposure to the food delivery market in a country where it is already well established in carpooling.

Read more: Egyptian food delivery startup Elmenus gets Careem backing from Uber

Not to be outdone, Talabat announced last month that it was launching its aggregator service in Baghdad and before that, in March, the Kuwaiti company launched its dark store grocery delivery business, Talabat Mart. , in four new Egyptian cities.

Read more: Aggregators Weekly: Talabat Mart Delivery Service in Kuwait Expands

Rising trend of innovation in the UAE

As Talabat’s latest extensions reveal, fast trade aggregator and delivery formats are steadily gaining popularity in MENA markets. By contrast, the sector appears to be battening down the hatches in Europe and America, where rising food prices and declining consumer confidence paint a bleak picture of tough times ahead.

MENA’s strength in the face of the global economic storm did not happen overnight. The United Arab Emirates, in particular, has been at the forefront of pioneering new delivery solutions. Long before Europe’s COVID-fueled instant grocery boom, Dubai’s Insta Shop was connecting a network of merchants to MENA consumers in need of quick supplies.

And the trend of innovation doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Another Dubai-based q-commerce platform, veppy.com, last week invited suppliers and sellers to register their businesses and list their products online ahead of its commercial launch in August.

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