Pandemic Winners: Rapid Grocery Delivery Apps

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Every major European city has at least one 10-minute grocery delivery app that’s disrupting the foodtech sector.

  • Gorillas, Getir, Zapp, Glovo are rapid grocery delivery apps that are well known in Europe. As the pandemic kept most of us indoors, these apps saved many people grocery runs.
  • By using 10 minutes as the upper limit of their delivery times, these companies have disrupted legacy players in the food delivery business who take 30 mins to a few hours to deliver.
  • This sector has attracted upwards of $10 billion in venture capital funding in 2021. Thanks to this rapid online shopping habit created during the pandemic, the funding isn’t reducing.
  • Most of the couriers, mostly young college students, working with these apps are paid an attractive hourly rate. But the pressure to ensure delivery times under 10 minutes is immense.
  • It’s become a norm to hear cases of toxic culture, harassment for missing deliveries to even life-threatening accidents being part of the job. Very few apps offer employment benefits.
  • Whether it’s Europe, the US or India, in the race to acquire more customers and deliver flawless service, the price is being paid by the gig workers who make the deliveries.
  • The warehouses from which the delivery services operate, known as ‘dark stores’, are located in residential neighbourhoods. They attract the same annoyance as any Airbnb-listed rooms.
  • In this reading, we look at rapid delivery apps through the perspective of workers, business, authorities and try to understand if this trend will continue its rapid growth even post-pandemic.
Financial Times
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5 articles on this topic

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