Coupled with the trend of the popularity of digitization, less contact thanks to self-checkout, more automation and a more cashless society, the growing startups can be one of the legacies alongside the long-term impact of the COVID-19 era on retail in the future after the pandemic.
After the rise of food delivery companies, grocery delivery companies are attracting record levels of investments, shoppers and interests. The pandemic has accelerated a new dynamic in online grocery and cultivated users’ online habits.
Food delivery companies, such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Glovo, all have the grocery division, but these players are now being disrupted by a new breed of online grocery players which are all about speed and convenience, the rapid convenience store delivery apps such as GoPuff, Getir, Gorillas, Fridge No More and many others. The competition is quite intense.
Among all grocery companies, a new niche market player, Panda Fresh has emerged for several months. Panda Fresh is the new grocery business of HungryPanda, which is a Chinese food delivery company targeting overseas Chinese communities.
HungryPanda is founded in 2017 in Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and it becomes the largest company to deliver Chinese food worldwide. At present, the company operates in ten countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and France. Targeting overseas Chinese, HungryPanda is providing a Chinese version app and Chinese style menu for customers, reducing the cultural and language barrier for those immigrations. From the company’s data, registered customers have surpassed 1.5 million, and partnered restaurants have reached 50 thousand.
After receiving $90 million investments in 2020, HungryPanda expands its business with more scenarios. Panda Fresh is one of its new businesses. Asian groceries are always popular, especially in the UK, the US and Australia. Local people have greater interests in Asian groceries and also these three countries have a large number of Asian immigration (Chinese, Korean and Japanese). Seizing this special demand, HungryPanda has launched its brand Panda Fresh for delivering Asian groceries, including Chinese fruits and vegetables, Asian frozen food and snacks.
Different from the instant delivery platforms, Panda Fresh has a wide range of goods, each warehouse has more than 2,000 SKUs and each region has different goods based on the local’s favors. The operation model of Panda Fresh is similar to Amazon Fresh, customers can choose a specific delivery slot and monitor the rider when delivering. Panda Fresh has over 1,000 frozen food and fresh vegetable SKUs, to guarantee the high quality of fresh Asian food and provide more selections for cooking. Not like local supermarkets only provide delivery service for Asian sauces and limited snacks, Panda Fresh combines most of the popular Asian food from local Asian supermarkets with its selected products to satisfy overseas Chinese and local residents.
Panda Fresh said it will expand business with brick-and-mortar stores in the near future, and expects to have the first store in Birmingham in September this year, aiming to improve customers’ shopping experience and be familiar with the best Asian groceries.