Home / News / India /  Indians stick to Biryani during lockdowns: Swiggy

New Delhi: With out-of-home meals out of bounds and the lockdowns weighing heavy on consumers stuck at home, Indians ordered biryani, as the most favored dish over the last three months. In all, Swiggy delivered 40 million orders across food, groceries, medicines and other household items during India's lockdowns, the online food delivery platform said in its StatEATistics report: The Quarantine Edition.

To be sure, several restaurants were out of bounds for consumers, as the lockdown restricted dine-ins, allowing deliveries only. Some restaurants had also voluntarily shut down for the time being due to severe logistical challenges and lack of manpower.

Swiggy registered 5.5 lakh orders of Biryani as and where restaurants were delivering meals across India.

Biryani was followed by orders for butter naan and masala dosa. In all 3,35,185 orders of butter naan and 3,31,423 dosas were ordered.

As the lockdowns—that commenced in late March—made it difficult for grocery stores to be operational throughout and harder for consumers to step out, Swiggy also partnered with several local retailers and FMCG companies to deliver essentials to consumers through its Swiggy Stores. At its peak, Swiggy was servicing orders for groceries in 300 cities as consumers also avoided regular trips to local grocers.

Moreover, it launched a pick-up and drop service Swiggy Genie, to fetch non-essential orders. Swiggy Genie is currently present in 60 cities.

“Swiggy delivered over 73,000 bottles of sanitizers and hand wash along with 47,000 face masks as the definition of ‘essentials’ changed during these uncertain times. This is besides the lakhs of sanitizers and masks that we equipped our delivery partners with," Swiggy said in a statement.

Interestingly, with consumers cooped up at home and cooking more, Swiggy delivered a massive 323 million kgs of onions to households and 56 million kgs of bananas.

Consumers also used Swiggy’s delivery services to order 3,50,000 packets instant noodles as convenience topped lengthy cooking routines for some. This, along with 21,000 ready to cook meals were delivered.

Food delivery companies struggled during months of April and May with order volumes down.

While food aggregators were averaging a run rate of 2.5 million to 3 million orders per day during pre-covid times, orders dropped by 60-70% during the lockdown due to operational issues and restaurants shutting shop.

Orders have gradually recovered as India has moved to “unlock" earlier this months. At Swiggy, restaurant supply is now back at 70%.

In desserts, Indian diners stuck to Choco Lava Cake, 1,29,000 orders of which were placed; followed by orders for gulab jamun and Butterscotch Mousse Cake. The food aggregator also serviced 1,20,000 cake orderes during the period.

Most orders were placed at 8 pm as consumers ordered more dinner at home.

“On average, 65,000 meal orders were placed by 8pm each day to make sure food arrives in time for dinner. This was thus the busiest hour for Swiggy delivery partners and restaurants.

On average, Indians tipped Rs. 23.65, with one particularly generous customer tipping Rs. 2500.

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