New Delhi, Jan 6 : Notwithstanding the brouhaha over whether the meat eateries are serving halal or jhatka meat or the recent Bird Flu scare, the reality is that the pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in raw meat orders online and key delivery players like FreshToHome, Licious, Zappfresh and BigBasket have seen three times growth in meat orders since the outbreak of the pandemic in India.
The online meat delivery market was fairly nascent with a market size of Rs 700 crore in 2019. While the broader meat market has largely been unorganised, online is now growing fast as the players have successfully targeted consumer pain points associated with purchasing meat from local butchers.
“Especially, super verticals like Licious and FreshToHome have quickly gained prominence. Even verticals like Big Basket are upping their meat game,” according to Bengaluru-based market research firm RedSeer.
While India’s overall meat market was Rs 330K crore in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2019, it is set to grow to more than Rs 460K crore by 2024, the firm forecasts.
The Covid-19 scare, which forced people to stop going to their friendly neighbourhood meat shops, has helped online players to a great extent. They immediately jumped on to the bandwagon, successfully targeting consumer pain points like lack of hygiene, less options and longer wait time at the shops.
“The meat provided by online players is clean, without any stain of blood and has negligible odour. The online players also differentiate in terms of width of offerings – especially ready-to-cook/ready-to-eat ones. The pieces are of high quality, rich in nutritional benefits, and ideal for urban, young, working consumers,” the report noted.
Meat market includes fish (freshwater and seafish), poultry (bird meat, ex-eggs) mutton (goat and lamb meat), pork and beef.
More than 70 per cent of the Indian population consumes meat in some form or the other. This is particularly prominent in eastern and southern India.
For instance, more than 98 per cent of the population in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh consumes meat and fish, according to the report.
“Success of online meat providers is due to vertically-integrated supply chains with high bars on quality. Also, the players have innovated to provide consumers a wide set of offerings, and attracted them through highly relevant and contextual marketing,” RedSeer informed.
FreshToHome is the world’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish, poultry and meat e-commerce, with approximately 1.5 million orders per month and $85 million (nearly Rs 600 crore) annualised sales run rate on its platform.
FreshToHome said it enables its marketplace sellers to source and sell high-quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen and is present in most major Indian cities and the UAE.
The fresh fish and meat e-commerce platform in October last year raised $121 million (approximately Rs 891.5 crore) in a Series C funding round.
“Covid-19 transformed the fish and meat purchasing behaviour of consumers dramatically. Due to safety concerns, consumers made the habit-forming shift to e-commerce and we saw online demand for our products going up many folds this year,” said Shan Kadavil, Co-Founder and CEO of FreshToHome.
The online meat market has grown more than 2.5-3 times since Covid.
“This was driven by Covid-related apprehensions while purchasing from offline/local butchers. The online players effectively communicated their superior quality and hygiene practices, which boosted consumer confidence,” the RedSeer report noted.
Therefore, online players gained significant number of new users since Covid-19 outbreak, even as existing users ordered more, which boosted volumes.