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Grab Food Is the Most Popular Meal Delivery App in Saigon, Hanoi

With the rise in demand for online food delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of services have seen an increase in customers. But one is standing out in the crowded field.

Despite many local and international competitors, a recent report found that Grab Food is by far the most popular online food delivery service in Vietnam as 79% of people surveyed admit to using it.

The report, cited by Vietnam News, was compiled by online market research firm Q&Me and based on responses from 840 users in Saigon and Hanoi. The next popular was Now (56%), followed by Go Food (41%), Baemin (15%) and Loship (12%).

Of the respondents to the survey, conducted in April, 76% said they used food delivery apps, with 24% saying that they only started using them since the emergence of the novel coronavirus. The survey also found that Saigon residents tend to use apps for delivery while those in the capital have a higher ratio of ordering via social media or telephone. Overall, 79% of people order at least once per week though many cited high shipping costs as a drawback.

According to market research firm Euromonitor, Vietnam’s food delivery market is set to reach US$38 million in 2020 with an annual growth rate of 11%.

Despite this, delivery drivers employed by these services have faced struggles both in Vietnam and abroad. A recent article from Reuters interviewed a number of drivers including one in Hanoi who told the news wire that both he and his colleagues are worried about losing their vehicles, purchased with loan money as they may not be able to make payments.

Reuters found that drivers in Indonesia have been particularly affected, with thousands of drivers facing similar challenges.

This has led to doubts about the long-term outlooks of business models for companies like Singapore-based Grab, which has a valuation of US$14 billion, as they cut many of the user subsidies that led to their explosive growth and rely on transport services as the core of their income.

Though they have plenty of cash on hand and have avoided major layoffs — such as Uber in the United States — executives such as Grab Operations Managing Director Russell Cohen, say their viability will hinge on when lockdowns end across the globe.

[Photo via F&B Vietnam]