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Can Home Cook Aggregator Masalabox Spice Up India’s Bland Foodtech Space?

Can Home Cook Aggregator Masalabox Spice Up India’s Bland Foodtech Space?

Masalabox uses a network of domestic chefs to supply homemade meals

Started in 2014, the agency claims to be doing over 800 deliveries according to day

DataLabs estimates the market length of cloud kitchens to the touch $1.05 Bn through 2023

The success of many new-age era groups depends on addiction formation among consumers and one region that has without a doubt reached cracked this is foodtech. Food transport has turn out to be the norm across Indian metros. From the initial days of the usage of food shipping apps to simply find the nearest restaurants or examine reviews, to ordering from the swankiest of satisfactory-dining eating places and scoring a discount within the procedure, Indian purchasers have grow to be habituated to ordering from Swiggy, Zomato and UberEats for his or her ordinary food.

Powered via huge investment rounds, foodtech majors have contributed closely in increasing the market for food ordering in India. According to RedSeer, those gamers had been able to obtain this dependancy formation through unmarried-serve fixed price food, transport capabilities beyond 12 hours, reductions and extra.  

But the actual query is how is it affecting the kitchens at domestic. In reality, eating places are themselves having a difficult time surviving in a meals transport world. 


Tapping into this improved marketplace for food delivery are the a couple of cloud kitchen manufacturers are replacing eating place chains way to the ease of commencing. Cloud kitchen startups which include Box8, Rebel Foods, Bombay Sandwich Company, and Freshmenu. These manufacturers differentiate themselves from eating places with an low-cost menu and standardised meal sizes. Also, cloud kitchens do now not have a dine-in place and accordingly, entirely depend on on line deliveries for his or her sales. 

However, the menu alternatives in both eating places and cloud kitchens tends to get redundant for a purchaser who orders every day or nearly each day. This leads them to preserve transferring between cloud kitchen manufacturers, and trying to innovate on this niche and offer an inexpensive opportunity are domestic-cook dinner aggregators. Companies which include Masalabox, Homefoodi, and Watscooking leverage a network of home-based totally cooks to deliver selfmade food to their consumer base.

Home Food Goes High Tech

Kerala-based Masalabox has built a community of transport companions in each Bengaluru and Kochi. The organisation additionally presents packaging substances to its homechefs, in conjunction with giving them the liberty to decide the quantity of orders they are able to put together in the imminent dinner or lunch slot.  Masalabox homechefs are paid each two weeks depending on the type and number of orders they have fulfilled. The employer claims to presently have 300 homechefs on its platform.

Founded by using Harsha Thachery in 2014, Masalabox gives 3 fee variety of meals together with mini, conventional and premium meals. The enterprise claims to be shipping an average of 800 orders according to day thru its cellular utility. The popular consumer demographic of Masalabox is just like the meals transport target market — 21 years to 40 years — who have migrated from their native cities and cities for work or schooling. So Masalabox is tapping into the home meals nostalgia to grow its enterprise, in addition to the stale feeling that ordering from restaurants may depart clients with. 

Talking of the business enterprise’s gain over mounted cloud kitchen manufacturers, cofounder Binil Antony stated the primary gain Masalabox has over these manufacturers is the range and the scalability that Masalabox can deliver at a fraction of the cost. 

“Masalabox brings to customers the plenty-wished opportunity to restaurant meals, imparting real selfmade meals to its customers. The regional cuisines and traditional recipes that come out of Masalabox chef kitchens makes it a miles superior pleasant product,” he introduced.

Foodtech unicorns Swiggy and Zomato have also entered the cloud kitchen area realising the big income ability on this model. To which, Antony said the entry of these aggregators has further contributed in increasing the food ordering marketplace and this has had a spillover impact on smaller players. 

As in step with DataLabs through CFT’s cloud kitchen file, the market size of cloud kitchens is anticipated to attain $1.05 Bn through 2023. Whereas, the overall Indian on-line food transport market (aggregators and cloud kitchen) is estimated to be an over $5 Bn opportunity through 2023. 

However, Antony believes that the homemade food area has nonetheless not been cracked in India and Masalabox’s experience in setting up this space for the beyond 3-four years offers them an edge over these predominant gamers. 

Further, there's a first-rate distinction among the present cloud kitchen brands and Masalabox — the Kerala-based totally organization does not depend upon food aggregators inclusive of Swiggy and Zomato for delivery, outreach and setting the purchaser experience.  Masalabox controls each aspect of the business from onboarding of homechefs to last-mile domestic deliveries — this eliminates one of the large negative aspects that cloud kitchens suffer from i.E the lack of customer interaction.  

Masalabox is able to keep meaningful relationships with its consumer base, which isn't possible inside the case of cloud kitchen brands which lack substantial marketplace attain on independent apps.  The bootstrapped-business enterprise claims to have a patron retention price of 40-50%.

Cloud kitchens might be much less capital-in depth, but their dependence on aggregator platforms gives upward thrust to the trouble of lengthy-time period margins. Given the fact that Zomato and Swiggy have not operationally break even yet, the price of servicing restaurants and cloud kitchens will hold to preserve growing to boom aggregator’s income. In the long term, as aggregator platform fees increase, earnings margins for cloud kitchen brands will fall sharply, and any operational expenditure benefit that they have is lost.


This is in which the foodtech sector desires more moderen models, and certainly there’s a terrific possibility for foodtech startups experimenting beyond the tested course of eating places and the emerging cloud kitchen area. 

In these phrases, models along with Masalabox do seem to have an advantage if they may be capable of make bigger rapidly and maintain their client base. That’s the most important trouble for startups inside the Indian market. 

As Mobile-Only Accelerator MOX founder William Bao Bean informed CFT, one among the largest demanding situations within the Indian internet market and the world over is that consumer acquisition price is excessive. “Big players like Facebook, Google and Amazon are taking a larger chunk of that. A lot of businesses that have been historically earning profits from marketing, are overlaying their customer acquisition fee.”

However, the popularity of those structures is anticipated to be limited to Tier 1 towns that have better population of city migrants searching out authentic selfmade meals alternatives. And the way wherein Masalabox manages to seize customers beyond this number one market will decide the achievement of its eating place-unfastened version.

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