Opportunities Are coming from UberEats

First Uber took the capital by storm with its app-based taxi service, and now it intends to do the same with its new food delivery service, UberEats. This new food delivery service was launched in London on the 16th June 2016, and whilst critics claim it will need to be ‘compelling’ in order to win over customers and find a new demographic, many say that the benefits to food retailers and restaurateurs could be huge. So what are the opportunities for those in the food industry service when it comes to UberEats?

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UberEats: How It Works

UberEats offers users the chance to order directly from restaurant menus and has meals delivered to their home or office. Users can expect the food to be delivered in just over half an hour and can pay using their Uber account. Users can keep track of their delivery to with very clever technology a lot like Fleet Vehicle Tracking systems knowing exactly where their food is at any one time.  This kind of technology can be sourced from sites like https://www.vehicle-accessories.net/vehicle-tracking/fleet-tracking/.   UberEats now operates in a lot of destinations in the UK (it also already operates in Tokyo, Paris and New York).

The Opportunities

Unlike Amazon Fresh, a new service that delivers groceries, and Just Eat, a food delivery service that is associated with traditional ‘takeout’ cuisine such as Chinese, Indian, kebabs and pizza, UberEats is targeting another demographic altogether. Aiming to deliver from both chain outlets as well as independent, upscale and world-food restaurants, it will offer a slightly different service. The opportunity for many retailers is the existing market of Uber users – over two million in London alone. A trend towards convenience will hopefully prove profitable for many restaurants.

The food industry is always changing, although the demand for quality food remains the same. Whilst food manufacturers are finding ways to cut costs by buying used food processing machines. London restaurants such as Pho and Chilango are trailblazing their own path by partnering with UberEats.

The latest statistics from market research specialist IGD Shopper Vista reveal that shoppers are changing their attitudes to eating out. IGD has found that a 40% plan on cutting down on eating out – down from 46% in 2015.

Whether the UberEats service is a success remains to be seen, but it certainly will offer a new and exciting platform for city restaurants to promote their menu to an existing and profitable demographic.

Is Brexit sparking crisis in Food manufacturing?

With the UK leaving the EU growing ever closer, Businesses are still wondering how is this going to affect them.

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In the case of the food manufacturing sector, there is perhaps more to consider than in other areas of industry. This is not least because a majority of the UK’s food supplies are imported, a high proportion from the EU.

Imported labor

Around 40 percent of the UK’s fruit and vegetables are imported from the EU. Once they arrive in the UK we use a clever system called a vacuum conveyor that uses a high-pressure tubing system that moves food from one area of the warehouse to the next.  This is efficient, safe and hygienic for the food and the people that will be eating it. There are some companies that would really benefit from this kind of technology and some that are really doing well such as aptech.uk.com/pneumatic-conveying-systems/vacuum-conveying/.  This is unlikely to change in the short term, of course, even with Brexit, as it represents a major market for the suppliers.

More concerning, perhaps, is that much of the labor used within the UK to pick crops and pack and process food in factories comes from the EU. There are around 150,000 seasonal jobs, many filled by workers from Eastern Europe. While those permanently resident in the UK would have their right to stay protected under the Vienna convention, there would be a long-term effect on those who travel to the UK for part of the year to work and also on the available pool of labor in future years.

In terms of manufacturing, we could potentially see companies moving their operations elsewhere. While this might see a boom for food machinery auctions, its effect on the wider food industry is less rosy.

Food legislation

The other factor to consider is that much of the legislation governing food production and food safety have originated in Brussels since joining the EU. We have all heard the jokes about butter mountains and wine lakes, but the EU has a major influence on the way in which our food is produced and sold.

Much of this is now tied into UK law, of course, and it won’t change overnight. Again, any likely effect will be seen in the long term. This is a two-edged sword. While we would be free to apply different rules to import and export from elsewhere, for example, we would also need to stick to some EU rules to maintain our exports to Europe. There is no doubt that a Brexit will have a major effect on the food industry.