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How online meat delivery is changing the retailing model in India

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The online meat selling start-ups have changed the way India buys meat. These firms sell custom cut, marinated and ready-to-cook meat products and are a boon for people sitting at home and wanting to enjoy a non-vegetarian meal without the hassle of cutting and cleaning.

According to industry research, the size of India’s meat market is close to $30-35 billion, which is further growing at around 18-20% every year. Th is implies that over 70% of the population in India eats meat. Over the last few years, the start-up ecosystem has brought a trend shift in the meat selling industry and has occupied a fair share of the meat delivery market.

However, the meat delivery market in India is still dominated by the unorganised meat sellers who control almost 99% of the space. So far, consumers have trusted the local butcher shops for buying meat and have been compromising with quality and convenience. Most of them are still not cognizant of the fact that the meat bought from butcher shops is sold in an unhygienic manner and the products are not fresh and lack quality. The meat sold at traditional butcher shops is openly displayed and is also vulnerable to pollutants and insects or flies.

In the traditional meat selling market, there is no standardization of price, quality and freshness.

The unorganised players follow an inefficient supply chain, which further degrades the quality of the products and makes it unhealthy for consumption. According to experts, the meat sold in India has the highest level of antibiotics. Th e investment in both meat industry and livestock for meat purpose breeding is low. Inadequate infrastructure is another major concern area.

Over the last couple of years, urban consumers have slowly moved towards online meat buying on account of various factors such as convenience and receiving fresh and hygienic meat at their doorstep. The online meat selling start-ups have changed the way India buys meat. These firms sell custom cut, marinated and ready-to-cook meat products and are a boon for people sitting at home and wanting to enjoy a non-vegetarian meal without the hassle of cutting and cleaning.

The startups are using a technology integrated platform to solve the problem of good quality and fresh meat availability. Customers can now enjoy fresh, marinated, ready to cook, nutritious non-vegetarian food options at the click of a button.

The online players are supplying certified quality meat to consumers. They have standardized the price of products to a large extent and are trying to establish a level playing field in the meat selling industry.

Online start-ups maintain the freshness of the meat through cold storage and other such processes. They work directly with farmers and are standardizing the processes at the farm level too. Th e start-ups are also working with slaughters to ensure that they follow scientific and hygienic slaughtering methods for quality meat production.

They are also working with government bodies like National Meat and Poultry Processing Board (NMPPB) and are setting standards and guidelines to provide safe and hygienic meat products to the end consumers.

The online meat selling market is setting up more modern and practical ways of meat processing and supply chain management processes. For cold storage systems of meat products, standardized mechanisms for storage and transportation are being set in place. Startups are taking aggressive efforts in setting up a supply chain system which benefits the meat industry and the end-consumers.

Meat delivery start-ups are also following excellent packaging standards to ensure that the products’ shelf life increases by leaps and bounds. Vacuum pack, canning, shrink packaging, foam trays packing etc. are few packaging techniques that are extensively being used in the modern day meat industry scenario. They are also addressing the concern of providing hygienic slaughter facilities for clean meat production and marketing. Start-ups are establishing a standard hygienic transport facility with hygienically maintained closed containers, which further helps in transporting meat for dressing and selling for consumption.

To conclude, I would like to iterate that there is huge potential in online meat selling market. The industry is completely encouraged by the response of customers where the customer repeat rate is above 90 percent. With the kind of year-on-year growth that the online meat sellers are witnessing, they will surely make a huge contribution to the economic development of the country in the long run.