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foodpanda partners Internet restaurant firm Rebel Foods to launch virtual F&B brands in Asia

foodpanda partners Internet restaurant firm Rebel Foods to launch virtual F&B brands in Asia

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Foodpanda and internet restaurant company Rebel Foods have embarked on a multi-market partnership to enable restaurant partners and cloud kitchen operators grow additional revenue streams, at little or no start-up costs. The virtual brand partnership will be for an initial five years, with the aim of launching over 10 virtual brands in over 2,000 outlets across the region. 

A virtual brand is an online-only food concept where the brand exists digitally, with no dine-in presence, and offers food that is available for delivery or pick-up. Hence, virtual brands can also operate from the kitchen of an existing restaurant or through traditional cloud kitchens. 

The partnership sees Rebel Foods bring its culinary expertise, efficient SOPs and ready-to-deploy brands that are easily customisable for local preferences in any region. Meanwhile, foodpanda aims to enable hundreds of thousands of restaurant partners and cloud kitchen operators to "plug-and-play" virtual brands into their current operations to grow additional revenue streams, at little to no start-up costs. This allows smaller SMEs and restaurant partners on the foodpanda platform to adopt new recipes and utilise their spare capacity to grow additional revenue streams while creating diversity in their menu offerings.

Pedram Assadi, COO of foodpanda, said that the partnership will introduce a new digital-first F&B format to Asia. "Foodpanda is always seeking new, innovative ways to change the way F&B businesses operate in a hyper-digitalised economy - we want to push our ecosystem further into the future,” he added.

Kallol Banerjee, co-founder of Rebel Foods, said in a media conference that the partnership would be especially useful for local and small F&B players in the industry who have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. He explained that, for instance, if a restaurant is doing well for dinner times but sees little to no business during lunch due to WFH and social restrictions, they can pivot to any of Rebel Food's virtual brands in the daytime.

"The restaurant would be using its existing infrastructure and manpower to make the dishes, which will be delivered through foodpanda. So it's an extra source of revenue for the restaurant when there is not much sales in the daytime," he explained.

The first phase of the partnership began in December 2019, which saw Rebel Foods introduced four brands across six markets - Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines - through the foodpanda network. On average, orders for Rebel Foods’ brands on the foodpanda app saw a 40% growth month-on-month in the past six months, with over 200 outlets across the six markets adding virtual brands to their existing F&B offerings.

Some of the virtual brands that will launch in Asia include Rebel Food's flagship brand Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, The Biryani Life and Lunchbox. Additionally, Rebel Foods has worked with foodpanda to co-develop new offerings under the virtual brand Honest Bowl. The menu was specially curated for Asian consumers based on foodpanda’s insights on customers’ preferences in the region.

The partnership comes as demand for food delivery services in Asia has risen over the years. According to foodpanda’s parent company Delivery Hero, its H1 2021 Trading Update reported that orders in Asia reported that orders in Asia doubled year-on-year, as gross merchandise value for the region grew 175%, surpassing the SG$15.65 billion mark. Additionally, foodpanda alone reported over 70 million orders completed each month.

Headquartered in India, Rebel Foods an internet restaurant company, parent to brands such as Ovenstory Pizza, Mandarin Oak, The Good Bowl, SLAY Coffee, Sweet Truth, Wendy’s and more. It currently operates over 45 brands across India, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, foodpanda Malaysia recently nabbed Bernard Chong, former regional head of marketing for SEEK Asia, as its marketing director. In his role, Chong reports to Sayantan Das, MD of foodpanda Malaysia, and will work closely with the marketing and growth teams. Caroline Wee, head of marketing for food delivery and Vanita Menon, head of marketing in turn report to Chong. 

Join our Digital Marketing Asia conference happening from 9 November 2021 - 25 November 2021 to learn about the upcoming trends and technologies in the world of digital. Check out the agenda here. 

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