Biryani and healthy meals top Swiggy’s annual food trends

Chicken Biryani emerged as the most ordered food on aggregator Swiggy, with more than 3 lakh new users making their debut on the platform with their orders for this dish, according to the fifth edition of StatEATstics report. Collectively, all forms of biryani – vegetarian and non-vegetarian – were ordered more than once every second in 2020.

The food ordering platform said it also delivered more orders at home as offices remained shut during the pandemic and saw an uptick in demand for healthier meals. “While contactless deliveries made ordering biryani—India’s forever-favourite food a breeze, healthy eating and DIY cooking kits found their place on some menus,” Swiggy said on Tuesday.

Top-ordered dish chicken biryani was followed by masala dosa and paneer butter masala, chicken fried rice and garlic breadsticks. Some customers also turned generous in a rather glum year — with two users of the platform, in Bengaluru and Bhopal respectively, tipping Rs5,000 each to their delivery executives each—making it the highest tip ever received by Swiggy delivery executives.

Swiggy also ferried over 6 lakh cakes this year as people celebrated their “lockdown” birthdays.

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During the year, as the pandemic slowed down consumer movement, Swiggy’s delivery executives also delivered groceries through Swiggy Instamart—its grocery and essentials delivery service launched in August this year. The company delivered over 1.6 lakh meal kits via Instamart. Meanwhile, users ordered 75,000 kilos of onions—becoming the most ordered item on Instamart along with other kitchen essentials like potatoes, bananas, coriander leaves and milk.

The StatEATstics order analysis is based on millions of orders received by Swiggy, between January and December 2020. Swiggy works with 1,00,000 restaurant partners and stores in over 500 cities.

The platform’s pick-up service, Swiggy Genie, launched in September last year delivered everything from home-cooked food to keys. The service is now available in 65 cities.

“Home-cooked food was one of the most ferried items in 2020, as people reached out to help elderly relatives, friends and colleagues struggling without help. A rising interest in baking also meant a lot of people were swapping goodies and organising socially-distant potlucks. We received over 120,000 food-related tasks on Swiggy Genie,” the company said in its report.

Consumers also opted for healthier meals this year with Swiggy’s “HealthHub”, a curation of healthy food items launched in August seeing growth in the country’s top metros — Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.

Users of the platform in the National Capital Region (NCR) ordered the healthiest meals, while Bengaluru registered the highest increase in healthy food orders. Salads, healthier sandwiches, high-fibre idli, high protein khichdi were the most popular items on Swiggy HealthHub, the report said.

India’s lockdown weighed heavy on its restaurants that worked under severe restrictions and even shuttered temporarily. Food delivery services, however, were working intermittently depending on local state regulations. However, they picked up pace as the lockdowns eased further.

As a result, food delivery has seen a significant uptick as consumers preferred ordering in over visiting restaurants. Though the pandemic has spelt gloom for the dine-in business, the restaurant industry has pivoted to fulfil more online orders. Restaurants also rolled out DIY meal kits as consumers spent more time cooking at home in absence of house helps.

Consumers also took to the food ordering platform to order popular street food such as pani puri . Over 2 lakh pani puri orders were delivered post the lockdown. The company said that it will offer more choice by onboarding 36,000 street food vendors across 125 cities in partnership with PM’s SVANidhi Scheme.

This year people working from home also took to ordering a variety of coffees and teas online—a segment more popular among those working in offices, Swiggy said in its report.

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