Grab starts online supermarket in Philippines for user growth

Grab is trying to capture broader opportunities in the food services market to drive user growth. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Grab Holdings, set to go public in the United States through a deal with a blank-cheque company, is launching an online supermarket in the Philippines as it tries to move beyond meal deliveries and ride-hailing to boost revenue.

Consumers in Metro Manila area, with a population of more than 13 million, will be able to order vegetables, meat, seafood and other groceries via the Grab app for next day delivery, the company said in a statement on Friday (Sept 3). Grab has already rolled out online supermarket services in Malaysia and Singapore, and it is preparing to enter Thailand this year, said Grab's managing director for operations Russell Cohen.

"We want consumers to think of Grab when they think of food, from grocery shopping to meal delivery," he said in an interview. Grab is also piloting a feature that lets users order and pay for food at restaurants using its app in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, he said.

Grab is trying to capture broader opportunities in the food service market to drive user growth. The online grocery market in South-east Asia is expected to almost triple to US$11.9 billion (S$15.97 billion) in 2025 from US$4.1 billion last year, according to Euromonitor International.

The region's online meal delivery transactions are also expected to triple, reaching US$28 billion by 2025 as consumers continue to seek convenience post-pandemic, according to a Grab-commissioned report by Euromonitor released on Friday.

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