Hypothesis: Possession of a motorbike will drastically alter the food habits of an individual as he would would be inclined to move away from a delivery based food consumption* to a more nutritious, controlled and timely consumption of food.

*Delivery based consumption = Orders placed on swiggy and dine out consumption using uber or ola

Purpose: As you may have guessed, this is an  inductive assumption based on my personal experiences over the last couple of months (Feb to June, 2016) carried out without the backing of any survey. It is done with the objective of welcoming similar views present online and perhaps help the readers to arrive at better life decisions.

It’s been close to a month since my close friend and roommate Deepak Venkateswaran stepped up to bring his bike from native place mainly for the pursuit of green food pastures and gastronomic high that comes with it. Needless to say, it made an instant impact in our lives. Reduction of travel time, drastic improvement in food choices (we don’t have an option to cook, since our apartment has no kitchen attached to it) being the obvious improvements. Amongst all these changes in our lives, two seemingly obvious but very interesting ones stood out for it may find implications and reflections at a larger level.

First observation being the fact that ever since the introduction of our motorbike, it became clear that we could go to the supermarket anytime within the working hours bracket and purchase stuff as opposed to making a long journey to the nearby supermarket on foot in the pre-bike times. The part of hesitancy can be attributed the seemingly insignificant and highly perishable nature of the products purchased such as fruits, veggies like cucumber, cereals like corn, multi-nutrient pulses and milk. The fact that these products painfully purchased after a long walk to the supermarket may not survive the next day owning the lack of a refrigerator at our place. This prompted us to choose less healthy diet such as oil rich dosa, street food, butter-rich curries etc over above mentioned items. We are now back to being enthusiastic about buying healthy products and trying out new ones (green tea) that we were before. The recent discovery of Bigbasket in Hyderabad also helped us in moving closer to a healthy lifestyle.

I and Deepak have always been avid foodies and the two services which have been of immense help in this regard has been Uber, Ola and Swiggy. These three services have helped us explore previously hidden parts of the city and cast around to the most delicious eateries of the city. This brings me to the observation which is the visible reduction in the number of swiggy orders we made post-bike times when compared to average swiggy orders pre-bike times.This also goes on to prove that unemployed people supported by parents or people who are on a shoestring budget are dependent on swiggy solely because  of the lack of transportation. This is a cheerful sign for the motorbike manufacturing and marketing industry and simultaneously an added pressure on the already congested and polluted roads of the city.  The psyche behind this transformation of our food choices can be attributed to the following:

  1. As individuals who are availing cab services at peak hours of traffic (read, traffic jams and surge pricing) which incidentally overlaps with most of our dinner/lunch time, we are likely to shell out a considerable proportion of our budget for travel since fare is calculated on the time taken to travel, one is forced to make full use of the money paid to choose a relatively fancier eatery over a normal place which offers healthier food choices. This process of thought can be effectively summarised into a situation where one is likely to say, “We have decided to come all the way here spending quite an amount of money, let’s choose a good place and make the most out of it”. It might also prompt a person to eat in large quantities over small ones since the likelihood of him visiting that is less likely in the near future.
  2. With respect to swiggy, we’ve been a huge fan of their service barring the newly introduced concept of surge pricing and faulty app functioning which occasionally display closed restaurants as open ones leading to a lot of confusion. This being said, swiggy can only do with the kind of restaurants which are already in place. The odds of a restaurant offering a healthy choice food after filtering out fried and oil/butter rich curries are very less, being present in a student’s inhabited area is very less. In addition to the same, the fact that one has to pay an additional amount as delivery charges if the order is below two hundred rupees is likely to adopt a ‘Let’s make the most of it’ approach, leading to the consumption of food in large quantities.

It is quite understandable that Uber, Ola and swiggy wouldn’t be too pleased with these insights which by no means is an indirect form of consumer complaint or attempt to malign their efforts. Consider this as a small nudge on their market research department to get up and use the potential of data analytics to the maximise their efficiency and to help them go through a reality check.

This is definitely a thumbs up for the motor vehicle companies as their market demographics are still favourable and will continue to grow as more and more hungry bachelors are likely to flock to cities like Hyderabad which lay claim to a proud heritage of food choices. It is also an encouraging signs for supermarket to come up with healthy food products which are less perishable and can be easily consumed by people who do not have the facilities to cook (nutrient rich yogurt, affordable fruit baskets, dried, salted and ready to eat fish etc.)

I’d love to know what you think of my hypothesis and please do share if you’ve had similar observations in the comment section.

NB: Ever since we got the bike, we’ve been on a tight fitness regime too, running  4-5km on a daily basis. Not sure, if our messiah bike has anything to do with it, but certainly an incidental gain for a healthier future.

 

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