Market Opportunity In India’s Online Meat Industry

Online meat delivery marketplaces like Licious and FreshToHome deliver hygienic, safe, and fresh meat to homes.


You decided to make a chicken dinner on a Sunday afternoon. How do you acquire fresh meat without stepping out of the house and risking hygiene and safety at an overcrowded butcher’s shop? Besides, most local meat shops remain closed due to frequent lockdowns. Without much thought, you can easily order fresh meat on a home delivery app like Licious or BigBasket. This is India’s online meat market. 

How this unorganised sector is undergoing a transformation

The online meat delivery market has stayed nascent valued at just INR 700 Cr. In 2019, the broader meat market has also remained largely unorganised. But with the faster emergence of online players, it is slowly transforming. Start-ups like Licious, FreshToHome, ZappFresh, BigBasket have seen 3X growth ever since the pandemic broke out. 

Key Forecasts of the Industry

India’s overall meat market is set to grow to more than INR 460,000 Cr by 2024 in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV). It has a large growth runway ahead and is also welcoming of disruption by branded players. The online meat market in India has huge headroom for growth. The demand is only surging, and the sales of online meat players are seeing a significant rise. This trend will further intensify, and India’s online meat market will be very interesting soon. 

What are the consumer pain points?

Purchasing meat from local butchers

The Covid-19 scare forced people to stop going to their friendly neighbourhood meat shops, which has helped online players to a great extent. Super verticals in online grocery and food delivery like Licious, FreshToHome, and BigBasket turned out to be safe and convenient options to acquire fresh meat directly to the doorstep. Covid-19  transformed the fish and meat purchasing behaviour of consumers dramatically. 

Due to safety concerns, consumers moved to e-commerce and online demand shot up for most of the companies. Covid-related apprehensions in purchasing from local/offline butchers led to offline players effectively communicating their superior quality and hygiene practices which boosted customer confidence.

Hygiene issues

As we are aware, the local butcher shops chop meat in roadside stalls which are most often open, teeming with fleas, and are surrounded by unhygienic conditions like open sewers, garbage dumps, stray animals, traffic, and pollution. Online meat companies slice, chop, store, and pack their meat in interiors at controlled temperatures against hygienic, conducive settings for the meat to remain fresh as long as it makes its way to the consumer’s table. The meat provided by online players is clean, without any stain of blood, and has negligible odour. 

Start-ups like Licious adopted industry-first and global standard food safety, and quality management systems right from the beginning of their journey to always ensure hygiene. The success of online meat providers is attributed to vertically integrated supply chains with high bars on quality. Licious is a INR 1000 Cr ARR (annual recurring rate) meat brand. 

Less options

With the local butcher, you can’t place too many demands or requests on the specific cut of meat you want, whether you want your shrimp deveined on both sides, or not. They are mostly overburdened with too many orders and are mostly unable to accommodate too many requests. Also, local butchers usually store 1 or few kinds of options in terms of tenderness of the meat or even in terms of the variety of meat and seafood available. 

Online meat marketplaces like FreshToHome offer a myriad of options including fish  and seafood, poultry, mutton, steaks and fillet, and even Ready To Cook pre-marinated meats, gravies, and curries. The pieces that are provided by online meat marketplaces are of high quality, rich in nutritional benefits, and ideal for young, working consumers. 

The players have innovated to provide consumers a wide set of offerings and attracted them through highly relevant and contextual marketing. FreshToHome enables its marketplace sellers to source and sell high-quality meat and fish directly from livestock farmers and fishermen. They receive close to 15 Mn orders per month and $85 Mn in annualised sales run rate. 

Longer wait times

Butcher shops are overcrowded with people placing orders. They are also short-staffed, and orders get vastly delayed. However, in online meat delivery, you can choose the delivery slots which are mostly not one or two hours later than the delivery time. The customer’s order will be delivered, packed, sealed, and fresh, right at the doorstep. 

‘‘

Online meat companies slice, chop, store, and pack their meat in interiors at controlled temperatures against hygienic, conducive settings for the meat to remain fresh as long as it makes its way to the consumer’s table.

Opportunities for new entrants in this industry 

The concept of getting fresh meat cuts in India has largely been a dream for. Premium steak cuts were restricted to high-end supermarkets since local butchers were largely unaware of the concept. Online meat delivery players have opened the gates for meat eaters in India to get access to clean and hygienic sources of fresh meat. 

The second most important consideration is the safety factor. India has been through numerous disease outbreaks due to stale meat making its way to food plates. By addressing both these pain points, new entrants in this space have enough room to innovate and disrupt the market. 

Anju Nambiar
Anju Nambiar
Anju has 5 years of experience covering business. She writes on startups, business life cycle and startup ecosystem. Her stints include Amazon and Adjetter Media Network.

YOUR VIEW MATTERS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by columnists are their own, not those of Dutch Uncles

If you wish to contribute or have a story suggestion,
email to [email protected]

ALSO READ

B2B Aggregators Disrupting the FMCG Distribution

The independent grocery store colloquially known as the Kirana...

How Mattress Brands should Market Themselves?

Rewinding the time machine to the early and mid-2000s...

UPI 123 Pay : Democratising Retail Payments...

For financial inclusion of the feature phone users in...