(MENAFN Editorial) Otlob.com, the leading regional online food delivery platform which is celebrating its 14th anniversary this year, has today announced that the pent-up demand for online food delivery in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue to expand at a fast pace to reach SAR 820 million by 2020, marking a staggering growth of 47x of the current size. This will be fuelled by the high gross domestic product (GDP), well-urbanised regions, changing lifestyles and an emerging online culture of a young and tech-savvy population. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranks 3rd in terms of smart phone penetration globally, ahead of countries like the United States, Britain, France and Germany and 64th in terms of internet penetration.
The leading group of online ordering platform Otlob.com, an OTVentures portfolio company, has strong presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where it has recently expanded its operations to cover Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and Khubar, with a menu database of over 400 restaurants and food chains.
Sami Zaki, General Manager of Otlob.com, said: "The consumer foodservice sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been growing tremendously, and is expected to continue on the same trajectory. Estimated at a total value of SAR26 billion, the growth of the sector is driven by a young futuristic population, rising purchasing power and internet connectivity and modern and changing lifestyles. This presents a tremendous opportunity for both the delivery/take-away subsector which is estimated at 23% of the total market, or about SAR 6 billion. Of that, the share of the online food delivery is just 0.3%, or SAR 18 million. Both traditional food delivery and online food delivery currently have lower penetration rates compared to other countries around the world, which creates big opportunities for food retailers in the Kingdom."
In the United States, the delivery/takeaway sector captures 45% of the total consumer foodservice industry. In the United Kingdom, the takeaway culture is quite popular and captures 40% of the total industry, while in France takeaway forms only 9% of the market.
The dine-in, takeaway and delivery and online food industry is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is expected to reach SAR 36.6 billion by 2020, marking an increase of 38%. This positive outlook has fueled a growing interest from domestic and global restaurants and food chains to invest in their online delivery channels. Online food delivery is now topping the agendas of these restaurants and food chains in the Kingdom, looking at ways to compete in this green market and take advantage of the opportunities it represents. The online delivery culture is expected to grow dramatically in the next 10 years, when 10 per cent of the people ordering food delivery or take-away will do that online. This represents transactions worth around SAR 820 million.
Sami Zaki added: "Restaurants and food chains in Saudi Arabia realised that the time is right to have a fresh look at their business model in order to capture the latest online and digital trends. Being one of the global pioneers of online food ordering, Otlob.com is assisting these food outlets in launching new revenue streams through online and mobile platforms. Our finger is constantly on the pulse of evolving technology, so we are able to provide them with the latest, up-to-date solutions that will help them further build their businesses."
"Restaurants and food chains are now creating an online presence through Otlob.com to become an extension of their brick-and-mortar outlet. This allows them to reach a wider range of customers. For consumers, Otlob.com offers a convenient, time-saving, user-friendly online marketplace with the widest gastronomic range from which they can choose on the online platform or via Otlob.com mobile apps for iOS or Android."
Otlob.com has so far curated over 400 restaurants and food outlets for the discerning Saudi consumer in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Al Khobar.
As the leading online food ordering portal in Saudi Arabia, Otlob.com allows customers to create one single account that they can use on Otlob in any of the countries where the portal operates. To offer customers a seamless experience, Otlob.com allows them the option to save as many addresses as they want and thus route the order to the desired address at the click of a button, browse their order history or the most loved and most ordered food items in any restaurant, create favorite orders that can be placed at the click of a button, or place advance orders delivered at a set time.
Registration on Otlob.com is very simple allowing customers to create their profiles with multiple delivery addresses in a few seconds. Otlob.com also allows customers to save and select their address location on a map to avoid delivery delays.