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5 Jan 2023

Econ Digest

What will be the trend of the food delivery business in 2023 after consumers resume their normal lives?


        KResearch views that the food delivery business will face challenges as economic activity increases and consumers return to a more normal life after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, resulting in an expected slowdown in food delivery business growth. KResearch projects that the market value of the food delivery business in 2023 will reach around THB81-86 billion, falling by 0.8-6.5% (from the high base of 2022) due to the following changing factors:

  • Less-frequent use of food delivery service. As reflected by the survey results, more than 37% of respondents have reduced their use of this service since the beginning of 2022 until now, following improvement of the COVID-19 situation. Use of the food delivery applications averaged at 5 times per month, down from 7 times per month surveyed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The average price per order tends to be stable or higher because of rising raw material costs and high energy prices. As a result, the average price per food item and the food delivery charges may increase from THB180-190 per order in the past.
  • Basic foods and fast foods such as noodles, Thai cuisine, Isaan cuisine and a la carte dishes remain preferable among consumers. Meanwhile, online orders for beverages and baked foods are expected to decrease because they are foods that consumers can purchase as conveniently as usual after returning to work at the office, as well as foods that focus on the dining experience or dining with friends and family, such as cafeterias, gourmet gardens and fine-dining restaurants, where the majority of targeted consumers are expected to return to dining in restaurants.
        While the market value of the food delivery business is expected to contract in 2023, it is well above the pre-pandemic levels on average, due in part to consumer familiarity with ordering food via applications, marketing activities by the food delivery platform providers and the trend of rising price per order. In response, the food delivery platform providers has also adapted to cope with the evolving challenges of the food delivery business, including expanding their market bases to other provinces, offering monthly packages for ongoing use by existing customers, expanding their businesses to related groups such as grocery purchasing services, and diversifying their businesses such as ride-hailing services and hotel booking services.

        In addition, KResearch views that going forward the food delivery platform providers should optimize AI efficiency by leveraging the numerous existing databases to provide more specific promotions, in order to help maximize cost management and manage processes in the business chain more effectively, reducing time and opportunity costs.

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