afaqs!

Foodpanda Turns Food Police

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 25, 2014
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Online food ordering platform Foodpanda.in goes mass with its promise of ensuring every stage of the delivery process is up to the mark. Are the TVCs up to the mark, though? A look at the effort.

We all know how much Po, the adorable panda last seen in Kung Fu Panda 2, loves his food. Now, we can't help but think of him when we see the new TVCs by Foodpanda.in, an online food ordering platform.

Foodpanda Delivery Boy TVC

Foodpanda Chef TVC

Foodpanda Website

In one of the films, a giant panda is shown keeping tabs on the whether the toppings on a pizza are generously placed, and in the other, he checks on the temperature of the food being delivered as well as on the punctuality and appearance of the deliveryman.

Rohit Chadda

Nima Namchu

The campaign has been created by Cheil India. The message is - If Foodpanda likes it, you will love it. The brand promises its customers that eateries listed on the portal have been pre-screened thoroughly.

The TVCs will stay on air till December 21. The media mix also includes print, outdoor and cinema ads. The campaign is targeted at those we're constantly looking for newer and easier ways to order quality food across India.

Rohit Chadda, managing director and co-founder, Foodpanda.in, says the company's research suggests that people are very particular about the quality of the food they order online. "Hence, we thought of using our brand mascot, the panda, to demonstrate to the viewers that reliability and credibility are our core brand values," he tells afaqs!, adding, as an aside, "Besides, food is very close to everyone's heart; the ads are meant to generate recall for Foodpanda whenever people think of food."

According to Nima Namchu, ‎chief creative officer, Cheil India, the objective of the campaign is to convey "the pleasure that Foodpanda's services bring into the lives of its users." The mascot's "happy dance", seen towards the end of each commercial, he adds, serves to "achieve a light-hearted cheerfulness which one easily associates with wholesome, hot food delivered to one's doorstep."

The Menu

Part of the Rocket Internet Group, Foodpanda.in was launched in 2012. Here's how it works: Foodpanda has tie-ups with restaurants/eateries that do home deliveries. Orders placed through the portal are processed by team Foodpanda and are subsequently fulfilled by the restaurant in question. FoodPanda earns its revenue by charging the restaurant a fee/commission for every successful order placed through the platform.

At present, Foodpanda covers restaurants across 100 cities in India. The brand has partnered with over 4,000 restaurants, including the likes of Pizza Hut, Subway, Domino's, Nirula's, Maroosh, Faaso's and Baskin Robbins.

The site allows users to search by restaurant name, type of cuisine and type of food (for instance, vegetarian/non-vegetarian, health food, etc).

Interestingly, the company frequently provides restaurants with valuable information, like analytics/data that can help them track the degree of loyalty they command among foodies.

By the end of this fiscal, Foodpanda aims to have a market share of up to 10 per cent of the food-ordering market, a segment that is expected to grow to Rs 6,000 crore by 2017.

Early this year, the company raised $20 million in funding, from Phenomen Ventures, a Russia-based venture capital firm, and a group of other investors.

Globally, the company is present in over 40 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The group has been operating in the Mexican market since December 2012 under the brand Hellofood.

FoodPanda competes with online food ordering services like JustEat.in, which launched its services in India by acquiring HungryZone, few years back. Foodpanda also shares some territory with brands like Zomato and Burrp, although all three offer different services.

Right Ingredients?

Will people think of Foodpanda the next time they think of ordering food?

RP Singh

RP Singh, chief executive officer, Sirez Group, a digital marketing company, feels the ads are based on an effective insight. "The films," he gathers, "try to capture the role of Foodpanda in ensuring timely delivery of quality food. But the execution lacks appeal. The same message could have been conveyed in a more interesting way."

He adds, "I am sure this is only the beginning as internationally they have done fantastic stuff."

Having used the service himself, Singh gives a thumbs-up to the site. He is of the view that since Zomato hasn't entered the food ordering business yet, FoodPanda can enjoy the edge!

"The segment is currently lucrative and has scope for more than a few players given the geographical layout of the country. Metros will be the main market for all these players, and tier II cities that are 'ready' can help make it an even larger segment," he says.

However, Foodpanda's Chadda doesn't feel his site and Zomato are fighting for space in the same segment. "Zomato is a pure content play whereas we are transactional. Zomato's service is restricted to providing the menu and the phone number; it doesn't go beyond that. We have an added step through which people can order. So I think our business models are very different... we are not running after each other's space," he clarifies.

Sure, Chadda concedes that when it comes to food in general, Zomato enjoys enviable brand recall. "They have been around for a while," he says, adding, "However, with this mass campaign, we want to position ourselves as the go-to-brand for ordering food online."

For the record, Foodpanda recently acquired Delivery Hero-backed TastyKhana.in, an online food ordering site dedicated to take-away/food deliveries, in India.

Foodpanda has also acquired Mexican food delivery businesses PedidosYa, SeMeAntoja and Superantojo.

The aim, we learn, is to become "the Amazon of food ordering in emerging markets."

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