The wave of digital disruption coupled with the recent COVID19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the meat and seafood sector. The last few years has seen a change in consumer mindset towards accessing high quality meat in a more convenient way- online. This trend has blown up amidst the recent lockdown scenario that the country and the world at large is currently facing. The change in consumption patterns caused by the pandemic are here to stay and it is being deemed as a boon in disguise for the otherwise unorganised and unregulated fresh meat markets that have existed in the country till date. Now, as consumers move away from the wet markets amidst growing concern for health, the onus lies on the meat and fish vendors to maintain growth in sales while catering to the changing patterns in customer behaviour. However, the trend of customers buying meat and fish online, from the convenience of their homes, had caught on way before the pandemic fueled it, giving rise to multiple startups leveraging the farm-t0-fork model to cater to the evolving consumer purchasing patterns.

The Dawn of the Urban Freshmarket

Meat and fish in India have primarily been sold at wet markets which constitute nearly 90% of the meat industry in the country and is valued at $30 billion.

Fresh fish and meat delivery
Wet markets in India constitute 90% of the meat industry

But major meat and fish brands such as Meatigo, Nandu’s, Zappfresh, Fipola, FreshToHome, Licious and Tendercuts, have now leveraged the online space & ensured that consumers get the product delivered straight to their home by selling through aggregators such as Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, or through their own online ordering websites. By partnering with SaaS providers like UrbanPiper, these players have taken their operations online, providing last-mile delivery services to their customers. With the emergence of such startups, the buying patterns of customers have shifted owing to the huge convenience that such online stores have to offer. In addition to receiving products in the comfort of their homes, customers can now select particular time slots, pre-order items, earn redeemable loyalty points, and get lucrative deals on their purchases all at the press of a button.

UrbanPiper X Meatigo & Nandu’s

The surge in the number of orders has more than doubled for most of the brands selling online amidst the recent lockdowns and keeping up with the demand requires streamlining operations. While the need for having an online presence (not only on foodservice aggregators but also through dedicated websites and mobile apps for online ordering) emerges as a necessity for a business to survive in the current scenario, it immediately begs one important question- What about operations?  As the number of channels for selling increases, it becomes crucial for brands to have a single platform to manage all their orders seamlessly. This is where SaaS platforms such as UrbanPiper shine with their integration expertise. UrbanPiper has been powering online ordering websites and branded mobile applications for major meat and fish players like Meatigo and Nandu’s, and aggregator integrations for Fipola, ZappFresh, Tendercuts  and many more. We spoke to Meatigo and Nandu’s and here’s what they had to say.

Online fresh meat delivery
UrbanPiper X E-Meat-ailers

Founded by Siddhant Wangdi in 2016, Meatigo’s vision has been clear and simple from the get-go—‘to bring India’s best selection of world-class gourmet meat and delicatessen products right to the meat lovers’ doorstep’. Their online business strategy was aligned with their vision of simplicity- A simple yet effective ordering and backend system - minus all the unnecessary junk. Powered by UrbanPiper’s robust Order Management System- OMS, Loyalty program, aggregator integrations- HUB, and Comet for rider management- the brand has now expanded their operations to 13 locations across India, serving the safest & most nutritious meat, efficiently to their customers. According to Siddhant-

“With the mechanism provided by UrbanPiper, we have been able to scale our operations to 7 cities with multiple hubs without having to stress too much on the tech side and how the system would be able to handle the same.”

Another player dominating the online meat and fish market in India is Nandu’s. Spread across 45 locales, the brand caters to its customers through multiple online food channels like Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo as well as through their own online ordering website. Partnered with UrbanPiper for managing orders from different online channels from a single platform, this omni-channel meat and fish store has its vision set on becoming the largest retail chain in India. Although the brand had traditionally been B2B, by utilizing UrbanPiper’s aggregator integration solution- HUB and Online Ordering Website- OMS, they have been successful in their B2C venture and have scaled their business all over south India. Nandu’s has increased their sales of fresh meat from 200 kgs/day to 100-200 tonnes/day. Having the data from multiple channels in a single database has helped them in deploying additional technology and using UrbanPiper’s robust solution, they are able to run marketing campaigns at the click of a button. With the efficacies incorporated in their processes, the brand has seen a revenue of 4.2 crore in 2020, across all its stores.

Online fish shopping

The Future of Meat & Fish

Taking a cue from the larger players, many smaller meat and fish vendors are adapting to the shifting landscape of the industry. More and more local players are upgrading their shops online to keep pace with the larger chains. Conventional brick and mortar shops are making way to their online counterparts. As unorganised wet markets morph into more hygienic and organised e-spaces with its myriad vendors - big and small, the future of the meat and fish industry seems bright and stench-free!