In a world where everything is rapidly becoming digitalized and consumers expect instant gratification for every whim, wish and desire, how does the snacking industry make space for itself?
By creating Munchies, off course.
Jehan Ara was joined by Amir Paracha, CEO & Director of Unilever Pakistan Limited, Atif Azam, CEO Venture Dive, Syed Fawad Ahmad, Strategy & Transformation Director for Unilever Pakistan Limited and Saad Fazil, Co-Founder and MD, Venture Dive, for an exclusive webinar on disrupting the instant snacking industry in Pakistan.
Munchies: An Idea
A joint venture between Unilever, a multinational corporation that has been around for over 100 years, and Venture Dive, a software design and development company, Munchies is Pakistan’s first and only snack delivery app, with the premise that you’ll be eating your favourite snacks within 30 minutes.
The idea for Munchies was brought into existence at The Nest I/O in 2018 during a Hackathon sponsored by Unilever.
A deficit was identified in Pakistan’s consumer market for a snack delivery app. Sure, there’s FoodPanda and the likes, but there was nothing that satiated our need for instant gratification when it came to wanting a pack of Lays or a Wall’s ice cream.
Snacking culture in Pakistan is vastly different than what one might find in the West. Here, when we think of snacks, it’s purely an impulse craving. We don’t have a habit of stocking up our cabinets with our favourite junk food and eating them whenever the urge arises: so when the craving surfaces, we want it to be satisfied immediately.
This is what Unilever wanted to address, but there wasn’t any tech out there that delivered to what they wanted to do. So instead of waiting for the tech to come into existence, they decided create it themselves by collaborating with the tech industry.
Munchies: A Solution
Pakistan’s tech industry is full of bright, innovative individuals who, if they are to succeed, must to be able to rely on support from stakeholders of every industry, and work with people who share their visions.
When they found each other, Unilever and Venture Dive got lucky.
They worked under the shared dream to disrupt the snacking industry in a way that would revolutionize how the average Pakistani consumer consumes snacks. Their aim was to make Munchies synonymous with snacking, and it would be fair to say that they’re well on their way to making that happen.
Difficult though it may have been to work together for the first time, an MNC like Unilever and a software design house like Venture Dive have come out of this journey knowing the importance of different industries working together. When you have mutual respect for each other’s industry expertise, you can achieve innovative solutions that may not have been possible alone.
For Unilever, though a behemoth in the corporate world and a leading globally as an MNC, this was their first experience working in and with the tech industry. They had little idea of the amount of money that must go into the tech business, and the kind of time and effort that has to go into something that aims to disrupt an entire industry. As for Venture Dive, working with an MNC that had such open communication and mutual respect was a refreshing experience; it proved the idea that for innovation to thrive in Pakistan, stakeholders must invest in the tech industry.
Munchies: Future of Snacking
Currently, Munchies has over 50K downloads, mostly organic. Due to Covid-19, they are operating from 10:30am – 06:30pm for snacks, and until 10:30pm for ice creams. Once timing restrictions are lifted, the next aim for Munchies is to operate 24/7 and deliver within a 10 minute timeframe, cutting down on the 30 minute timeframe that currently exists.
And it doesn’t seem too far-fetched, since every Buddy operates within a particular area and can deliver snacks from the nearest grocery store to your home or office.
Munchies is on its way to achieving its goal of becoming synonymous with snacking.
We hope to see more collaborations between MNC’s, FMCG’s and the tech industry, working towards innovative solutions.