The Carrefour group continues its online food offensive with the acquisition of Dejbox, specialising in delivering lunches for employees of companies located in peri-urban areas.
Carrefour announced its acquisition of a 60% share in start-up DejBox in early January. Founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Adrien Verhack and Vincent Dupied, DejBox describes itself as a digital canteen aimed at employees of companies located on the outskirts of urban areas who don’t have any sort of collective catering service, making it a B2E (‘business to employee’) service that could potentially cater to no fewer than 10 million employees!
The individual places their order on the platform and gets their lunch box, prepared by partner caterers and restaurants, delivered to the office for the price of a meal voucher, with free delivery to boot.
The Dejbox service is already available in Lille, Lyon, Paris, Bordeaux, Nantes and Grenoble, as well as hundreds of other cities and surrounding towns, delivering over 400,000 meals every month.
Carrefour increases its presence in the online food sector
The Dejbox buyout is further evidence of Carrefour’s desire to become a major player in the rapidly-growing meal delivery market, with the group having already acquired a majority stake in the capital of start-up Quitoque, which specialises in delivering meal packs to be cooked at home, in March 2018.
Carrefour aims to increase its online food sales in the French market by 20% by 2022. “This acquisition, which reflects Carrefour’s desire to become the leader in the food e-commerce sector, is a strategic move“, explains Amélie Ouéda-Castera, Carrefour’s head of e-commerce, data and digital, quoted by Le Figaro. “It will enable us to invest in the rapidly-growing meal delivery segment with an offering that focuses on quality and is accessible to all“.
Home delivery: a rapidly-growing market
This is indeed a strategic acquisition, bearing in mind that the French are becoming increasingly fond of eating out, with a whopping 10 billion meals (that’s 1 in 5!) being eaten outside of the home in 2017. This major change in eating habits can be explained by the desire to save time and consume fresh and healthy food, the adoption of more individual consumption habits and the increase in the amount of time devoted to eating.
The stakes are therefore high for players in the food distribution sector, where market shares are increasingly being eaten up by companies focusing on home delivery.