In recent years, the development of online marketplaces has drastically improved the retail catering business, not least in terms of meal delivery services. Previously, these were arranged by the food shops themselves, but as the internet and mobile technology became more prevalent in everyday life, specialized food delivery firms have emerged. In Taiwan, this has coincided with increased concern about some food hygiene issues and the safety of delivery personnel.
Food delivery services are becoming extensions of the larger e-commerce business model, with various industry companies developing electronic transaction platforms as well as apps for delivery couriers and consumers to utilize. Through an app, consumers can order their food of choice, which will then be delivered by a courier, who will earn commissions in the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on food distribution in the last three years. The epidemic forced the closure of countless restaurants and drastically reduced dine-in business for those that did survive. In contrast, customers began depending on food delivery more than ever, with food delivery app downloads increasing three times in Q2 2020 alone.
When compared to pre-alert numbers, daily orders increased by more than 40% when Taiwan issued a nationwide Level 3 pandemic alert in May. Much of this expansion is expected to be long-term, as the pandemic has permanently altered fundamental consumer behavior in terms of online food delivery. These developments prove that this industry is here to stay, as the food delivery sector has become more prominent despite the easing of the pandemic.
Consumers' understanding of their rights and interests has grown significantly, and the standards for food safety and quality have become increasingly stringent. Various countries have stronger food import control restrictions, and sophisticated legal compliance requirements have become the competitiveness threshold for food manufacturers.
Taiwanese manufacturers have steadily created a good product supply chain, including raw material management optimization, whether they set up plants in China or elsewhere, by strengthening quality control capabilities and logistical stability and smoothness, and gradually improving product quality and quantity. Furthermore, global population increase and the emergence of new countries, along with climate change and resource constraint, will create unprecedented unpredictability and crises in the global food supply over the next century.
With this, more improvements and advancements can be made in the online food delivery sector.
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