When sourdough and banana bread hit peak home baking this year, flour, eggs and butter instantly flew out of grocery shelves in the West, but here in India, things are slightly different. Our loyalties still lie with onion, potatoes and Maggi. In 2020, most of our shopping was fulfilled online with hyperlocal services such as Dunzo and Swiggy Genie. Last week, Dunzo released its annual trend report #WellDun 2020. It lists a few intriguing trends in grocery shopping, food orders and healthy food alternatives across cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad.
Amazon might have started its online pantry service for fresh fruits and vegetables, but the neighbourhood kirana store still has a loyal following. While one would assume that onions, potatoes and tomatoes will have the highest demand in grocery orders, it is not so, as the report suggests: Jaipur had the lowest volume of onion buys, whereas Bengaluru recorded the highest. Meanwhile, the maximum demand for potatoes came from Chennai and milk topped the list of grocery orders in Pune and Hyderabad. Year-end reports carry quirky trends too and #WellDun 2020 by Dunzo revealed Mumbaikaars and Delhiites prefer to call bhindi as okra and not ladies finger.
By the time lockdown restrictions were somewhat eased in May, restaurants gradually introduced takeaway menus and there was a surge in home chefs. While one would assume that those who cooked everyday meals must have experienced kitchen fatigue, and sought refuge in foods they could not recreate at home; think, cheesy pizzas, Thai noodles and decadent desserts. But, the report found that even though food was ordered from outside, the preferences for familiar favours and Indian dishes remained constant. The highest food order in Mumbai was dal khichdi, Chennaiites got idlis home delivered and Bangaloreans couldn’t get enough of chicken biryani. Meanwhile, samosas topped home deliveries in Jaipur, aloo Tikki burgers in Gurgaon and misal pav in Pune. Infact, Pune residents ordered two-times more Maggi than Mumbaikars. Even hot beverages were delivered home as Zoom meetings filled our days. The report says, “Delhi, Chennai and Jaipur ordered more coffee than tea.”
There was surge in orders for health foods too. But, it wasn’t all about immunity-boosting foods with turmeric or ginger filling virtual grocery carts. Avocados, quinoa and kale ruled. Quinoa and kale were the most preferred ‘healthy’ ingredients in Delhi, broccoli and avocado kept Mumbaikars going. Brown bread and jaggery also falls in the health food category in the report by Dunzo. Pune’s residents bought the most brown bread among all cities and jaggery was picked over sugar by those in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai.