Subscription food box service HelloFresh has seen its share price rise as the coronavirus pandemic drives a surge in orders, with supermarkets such as Carrefour launching new services as their traditional channels become inundated with orders.
The company said it had seen a “meaningful acceleration” in the second half of March and now expected consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2020 to reach between €685 million and €710 million. At the higher end of the range this would represent a 69% rise from the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the company expects adjusted EBITDA to rise from a loss of €26.1 million to a profit of between €55 and €75 million. Since the beginning of March, HelloFresh’s share price has risen 37%.
The figures show how customers, who in many countries have been ordered to stay at home, are looking for alternatives to supermarkets as the latter group struggles to meet demand through their traditional means. Many grocers have a large backlog and have to prioritise online slots for vulnerable customers who are unable to go out during the pandemic.
Some supermarkets are attempting to find new ways to deliver to customers aside from their delivery van fleet.
French supermarket Carrefour has launched a new “essentials” delivery service and introduced phone ordering for senior citizens to allow customers to top up supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new “Les Essentiels Carrefour” baskets are set at a maximum price of €5 per day per person and consist of basic foodstuffs such as rice, pasta, milk. Customers are also able to sign up to a larger weekly subscription box.
The service is initially available in the Paris area, delivering to a specific district each day.
Carrefour has launched a new telephone ordering service for seniors, initially available in Ile-de-France and set to be rolled out to 32 additional towns. It has introduced a dedicated online delivery service for medical workers.
In Australia, Woolworths is working with Australia Post and DHL to offer smaller boxes of groceries.
Morrisons has teamed up with DPD to ship a food box offering £30 worth of basic, everyday groceries with a £5 delivery charge and next-day delivery available at no extra cost. Customers can order two boxes per order.
In Spain, DIA is working with Glovo, the on-demand courier app, to add a new channel for distributing orders. Glovo will allow DIA to reach an additional 2.5 million people across 54 towns, bringing its total to 494 towns served from a network of 500 stores. DIA has also converted 11 stores into functional warehouses.