More online grocery shopping, food delivery with coronavirus outbreak
The outbreak of the coronavirus here has led to a surge in demand online for grocery and food deliveries as people look to avoid crowded areas.
E-commerce marketplaces for groceries that The New Paper spoke to said they have seen an increase in sales volumes.
Mr James Chang, chief executive officer of Lazada, which manages RedMart, told TNP it has seen a 40 per cent increase in orders on the week of Jan 23, when the first infection was confirmed here.
Monitoring figures over the last four weeks, he said: "RedMart shoppers are buying about 30 per cent to 40 per cent more dry and fresh groceries. Sales for health and beauty products have almost doubled."
A Lazada spokesman added it was no longer mandatory for its customers to physically sign on the company's devices for proof of delivery.
He added delivery representatives will be allowed to sign on the customer's behalf in their presence.
"We want to better protect both our customers and riders. This way, we can minimise or even eliminate social contact where necessary," he said.
Food products supplier Sasha's Fine Foods has seen a 20 per cent rise in orders over the last two weeks.
Such orders include staples like eggs, fruit, milk, poultry and seafood.
Cold Storage said it was seeing more customers online, but did not reveal figures.
Said a spokesman: "We have added extra picking and delivery capacity to cope with the increase in demand.
"We are working hard to ensure that there are adequate supplies."
Business for food delivery companies has also been brisk.
Foodpanda managing director Luc Andreani said it has experienced an increase in orders week on week, but there were multiple factors, such as ongoing restaurant promotions, that could have contributed to the surge.
A shopper, Madam Jasmin Wick, said she turned to online grocery shopping as a precaution.
The 52-year-old head of operations said: "I get to minimise social contact with others as much as I can, especially since the virus situation is getting more serious."