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The future of food and grocery delivery

Assif Shameen
Assif Shameen6/11/2021 7:0 AM GMT+08  • 9 min read
The future of food and grocery delivery
Food and grocery delivery is probably one of the worst business models. What should such businesses do to become profitable?
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In my May 2019 column titled Meal kits, food delivery and the death of the kitchen, I wrote about the popularity of food delivery apps that were emerging as utilities, in some cases even replacing kitchens with fully cooked meals or partially prepared meal kits.

Companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, GrubHub in North America, JustEat Takeaway and DeliveryHero in Europe, Deliveroo in UK and Australia, Meituan in China and the likes of GrabFood, Foodpanda and their ilk in Southeast Asia were delivering great value for customers even as they destroyed shareholder value.

“Nobody is making money in food delivery,” I wrote at the time, predicting that it was indeed highly unlikely that anyone would ever make money unless there was massive consolidation in the space that upended the economics of the business.

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