In the last few years, India has witnessed the emergence of a new trend where ‘eating in’ is finding favor over eating out for many reasons. Fueling this trend are the food-tech majors Swiggy, which clocks about 45-50 million orders a month, and Zomato, which does about 35-40 million.
And between them, there is intense competition too to grab that larger chunk of the market pie. But in doing so, the customers’ grievances in terms of food hygiene and quality standards against both the companies have also been rising.
According to the latest data shared by Minister of State Danve Raosaheb Dadarao of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in Rajya Sabha, consumer grievances in FY20 have increased by almost 2 times as compared to FY19.
The number of complaints filed with the National Consumer Helpline has surged from 1,053 in FY19 to 1,955 in January 2020 and the figures are bound to increase further.
As online food ordering and delivery services have shown rapid growth during the last three years, some instances of sub-standard food being delivered through online food delivery service platforms have also come to the notice of FSSAI, the ministry stated.
Such instances when received are taken up with the commissioner of food safety of states and union territories. The Food Safety and Standards Act and Rules & Regulations framed thereunder have provisions to ensure food quality and hygiene,” it further added.
These details were provided by the ministry in response to a recently asked question in the Rajya Sabha.
The house was also told that most of the complaints lodged between April and September 2019 were against e-commerce companies, said a Financial Express report.
While Flipkart and Amazon topped the list with 11,028 and 7,203 complaints respectively, the other three companies were Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone.
Recently, Zomato had posted revenues of Rs 1,421 crore with a loss of about Rs 2,000 crore in FY19. Swiggy had posted operational revenue of Rs 1121.7 crore with Rs 2345.6 crore net losses.
Looking at the present scenario when the overall economy is facing turbulent times due to the coronavirus pandemic, the food delivery business is also expected to witness sluggish growth.