African food-delivery firm targets lower-income shoppers

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 3 weeks ago - Duration: 02:30s

African food-delivery firm targets lower-income shoppers

Jumia Food, a unit of New York-listed e-commerce platform Jumia Technologies, is offering cheaper menu options in its African home market to attract lower-income earners as it seeks to boost growth.

Anna Bevan reports.

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African food-delivery firm targets lower-income shoppers

Meet the Jumia delivery drivers, bringing cheaper food and drinks to lower-income earners in 11 African countries, as international companies look to grow their customer base on the continent beyond the middle class.

When Jumia Food first launched in 2012, it focused on those who could afford Internet access.

But growing smartphone use and plummeting data costs have opened up the market -- including here in Kenya.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JUMIA FOOD KENYA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, JOE FALTER, SAYING: "We are also looking now to target this mass-market customer that is really starting to come online over the last couple of years for the first time, realizing that the level of radical convenience and assortment is not just the preserve of the upper classes.

It's now available to the mass market because the level of sophistication of technology, the level of experience that we now bring to on demand means that we can hit a price-point that's attractive to them." Jumia Food is a unit of New York-listed e-commerce platform Jumia Technologies, and became Africa's first unicorn -- a private company valued at over a billion dollars -- to test the public market for a sub-Saharan tech firm when it listed on Wall Street in April.

It follows the likes of Huawei and Uber, which already offer low-cost solutions to smartphones and quick travel.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JUMIA FOOD KENYA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, JOE FALTER, SAYING: "You know five years ago, six years ago I considered this to be a food-delivery business and what happened over the years is that we built up a very large base of customers and we developed an extremely deep expertise in on-demand delivery technolog.

And when you have those two assets we recognize that food is probably the biggest opportunity that we have in the market, but we can leverage those assets to serve customers in other areas." Jumia Food has around 4,000 restaurants listed on its platform, offering the company's one million customers everything from local cuisine to international fast food.

And the platform wants to attract more people.

It's currently working with restaurants to offer even cheaper meals that cost a maximum of $2.95.

Africa's growing population is expected to lead to a rise in consumer spending: from $680 billion in 2008 to $2.2 trillion by 2030, according to a U.N report.

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