A recipe for monopoly? Global food delivery titans swallow smaller competitors.



Despite the global clout of these titans, North American locals continue to hold their ground, with giants like Uber Eats and DoorDash leading the way.

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The online food delivery industry has seen significant growth since 2020, this growth has been particularly notable in Asia, where most food delivery users are. An expansive delivery ecosystem has developed to meet this growing demand, with major companies such as Delivery Hero leveraging acquisitions for expansion and consolidation.

  • This approach enables these companies to increase their market shares and reach new areas with potential for further growth. Delivery Hero has acquired several brands over the past few years, including Foodpanda (2016), Woowa Brothers (2019), and Glovo (2021), strengthening its position globally.
  • Takeaway, now Just Eat Takeaway, after its merger with Just Eat in 2020, has made several strategic acquisitions, including Delivery Hero Germany, Pyszne, SkipTheDishes, and Grubhub. Now it operates 8 companies under its umbrella.
  • Uber, another major player such as Uber Eats, has followed a similar trajectory by acquiring Cornershop, Postmates by Uber, and Drizly, an Uber Company.
  • Zomato, one of India’s leading online food delivery platforms, purchased UberEats India and Blinkit to consolidate its market position.
  • Getir, a Turkish delivery company known for its ultra-fast delivery service, acquired Gorillas in 2022, marking its entry into the highly competitive food delivery market.

    These acquisitions and mergers aim to gain a competitive edge in the industry by expanding market presence, improving service offerings, and gaining access to new customers. Given the rate this industry is growing, I expect more of such strategic moves.

++ Growth Pockets by Region ++

The online food delivery industry is highly competitive, with both large and small players vying for market share. Uber Eats has emerged as a dominant player globally, with a widespread presence across various regions. It has achieved this through its robust platform and strategic acquisitions.

However, local companies also vied for market dominance within their regions. They can often compete successfully by offering services tailored to their local customers’ unique preferences.

  • In North America, local players such as SkipTheDishes, Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates by Uber, and Instacart dominate the online food delivery market. Their established presence and familiarity with local consumers are major factors preventing foreign companies from gaining significant footholds in the region.
  • The Middle Eastern market is dominated mainly by international entities like Uber Eats, Delivery Hero, and Deliveroo. They have successfully established themselves in the region, due to the lack of strong local competitors.
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