Bengaluru-based food delivery unicorn Swiggy has signed up a new canteen to deliver biryani made by the prison-run Freedom Food Factory. The canteen is run by prison inmates of the Central Prison, Viyyur in the Thrissur district of Kerala.
Swiggy will be delivering a chicken biryani combo, served in a banana leaf with a bottle of drinking water. The food is prepared end-to-end at the prison, including the packing. To go the extra mile for eco-friendliness, the parcel is delivered in paper bags, also made by jail inmates.
Initially, the delivery will be restricted to a 6 km radius of the jail in Thrissur city. The project was launched on Thursday in the presence of Superintendent NS Nirmalandan Nair and other officers.
Kerala jails have been in the food business for many years now. Under the brand name ‘Food for Freedom’ they have opened a restaurant near the central jail in Thiruvananthapuram, and its dishes such as the biryani which Swiggy will deliver have become a huge success among locals.
However, Swiggy’s food delivery is a first of its kind service and takes these prison-run food businesses online. Swiggy is present in over 160 cities with a fleet of 1.8 lakh active delivery partners from over 90K restaurant partners, but this is the first time it has tied up with a public kitchen such as this for specialised deliveries.
According to a 2019 report by RedSeer, the foodtech sector posted triple-digit growth for the third-year running and players in the space expanded their footprint like never before. The RedSeer FoodTech Leadership Index (FLI) ranked Swiggy at the top place with a total score of 96 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Its arch-rival Zomato came in second with a score of 82.
Swiggy has been diversifying its revenue channels by reducing discounts and bringing in more repeat orders as well as entering new verticals such as Swiggy Pop, Swiggy Daily, Swiggy Super, Swiggy Stores. However, its latest venture with Kerala inmates is a major CSR initiative.
The development comes days after Zomato announced the acquisition of Feeding India, a non-profit working towards the aim of eradicating hunger, malnutrition and food wastage. Currently, Feeding India is distributing 1.1 Mn monthly meals, which is a significant hike as compared to 78.3K monthly meals it claimed to be distributing in December 2018.
Zomato has created an exemplary model of running a socially responsible business with the integration of Feeding India. With Swiggy now enabling delivery of food prepared by reputed prison-run kitchesn, the food delivery business is taking another turn for sure.