Expansion to markets and benefits marks the year of iFood

Diego Barreto, vice president of strategy and finance at iFood, talks about the company's movements in 2022 and news for 2023

In 2022, iFood made some important strategic moves. In addition to investing in improving restaurant delivery operations, the company consolidated its position in the delivery of supermarket items and began to explore a new front, that of benefits (such as food vouchers and meal vouchers).

Furthermore, in the second half of the year the business had a single shareholder: Movile, a Brazilian investor founded by Fabricio Bloisi, president of iFood. In August, the Movile acquired shares in Just Eat and ended up with 100% of participation in the company.

To take a look back at the company's main investments in 2022, the iFood News spoke with Diego Barreto, vice president of strategy and finance at iFood. He reveals the priorities, the results and talks about the prospects for 2023 — check it out below.

iFN – What were the three biggest highlights in iFood's investments and strategies in 2022?

Diego – The year 2022 was marked by a continuous expansion of iFood and the consolidation of our presence in supermarkets

Unlike most internet businesses, which suffered a lot post-pandemic, we continued to grow. There was an increase in the number of customers and frequency of purchases, especially in supermarkets.

Another highlight was, without a doubt, the iFood Benefits, which combines meal vouchers and food vouchers, among other benefits, into a single card and has reached more and more Brazilians.

And another notable moment was the consolidation of the acquisition of iFood by Movile. The year 2022 marked the biggest investment made in Brazil and Latin America, even at such a tense time in the world. It was an investment of 1.5 billion euros that Movile made, becoming the holder of 100% of iFood.

iFN – How does having full control of the operation influence the company’s business and investment strategy?

Diego – The strategy doesn't change much because Movile was already the controller of iFood and held the decision-making power. 

What changes is that governance becomes more fluid, faster, simpler. So iFood becomes even more agile in aspects that involve shareholders and the company.

iFN – Another important movement was the departure from Colombia. What does this represent for iFood’s strategy in Brazil?

Diego – The decision to leave Mexico two years ago and now from Colombia is linked to a strategic development in Brazil. When we started a business that was focused on restaurants, we focus on having a very good operation.

iFood only made the decision to go to the market sector in a second moment, when we reached the level of an admittedly very good operation. When we migrated to supermarkets, we were positively impacted by a series of opportunities that we began to explore, such as pet, pharmacy and drinks, among others.

At this moment, when the world is increasing the demands to make investments, we asked ourselves if it was worth investing in these verticals or in our historic business, but outside Brazil.

The answer was: given the size of Brazil, iFood's customer base, the logistics we already have, it will be much easier to achieve good results in these new verticals than starting in other countries. So we made the decision to leave Mexico and Colombia to concentrate 100% of our efforts in Brazil.

iFN – The year 2022 was quite challenging for technology companies around the world. What was iFood's strategy to overcome this scenario and move forward?

Diego – By the time the world began to experience a heavier crunch in the first quarter of 2022, iFood had already gotten ahead of itself. In September 2021, we began to see a repositioning of capital in the world.

So, instead of making a very sudden move in 2022, in September 2021 we raised the bar on the requirements we have to make investments. This makes it much more difficult for us to approve new investments. 

The result of this is that, while the world had to make this effort, iFood maintained the pace of investments in 2021, without changing its plans. 

iFN – Were the company’s strategic objectives achieved in 2022?

Diego – A big goal of 2022 was improve the lives of delivery people in all senses. We did a good job, but this is not work that can be completed in a year because there are many complex issues involved.

Work continues in 2023, but we are happy with advances such as offering insurance in case of accident, O maternity benefit, you earnings minimums.

The second objective of the year was to maintain a good level of sales for restaurants. There was a fear that in the post-pandemic period, online demand would drop. This happened in several sectors of the economy, but not at iFood, which has been breaking sales records in recent months.

Furthermore, another objective was the expansion of a very powerful offer: the supermarket. We started the year doing geographic expansion, bringing 100% from the relevant supermarket chains in-house, and now we have completed this expansion.

Today iFood is present in more than a thousand supermarkets in hundreds of cities. Our work with markets grows month by month. Finally, there is iFood Benefits and our goal of positioning our product among the main ones in Brazil. 

iFN – In 2022, iFood advanced not only in food delivery but also in the delivery of market purchases, in the offering of benefits and in the field of fintech. What will it be like in 2023?

Diego – The year 2022 was the time to consolidate the position of supermarkets, a recent area, which was created in 2020. In 2023, the major expansion on this front will be towards the cash-and-carry model. 

We want to bring this experience so that, at a time of high inflation, there is a cheaper offer. Cash-and-carry brings this value proposition.

At iFood Benefícios, in 2022 we started with a product under construction and reached the end of the year with a great product, with great evaluation from companies and individuals.

We already offer food vouchers and meal vouchers and now we are moving towards other benefits, such as study and transport. In 2023, iFood Benefits has everything it needs to be extremely relevant.

We focus on working very well to enter 2023 with a great product. So, when the regulatory changes arrive in May, we will be able to achieve what we initially wanted: positioning this product as the best in Brazil.

iFN – The world economy will still experience a challenging scenario in 2023. In this context, how important is innovation to continue moving forward?

Diego – It is huge. In moments like this you need to find substitutions, different ways of keeping certain consumers on your platform. 

Think of a consumer who needs to go for a cheaper product because inflation is high. We need to have a wholesale and make the experience work so that he continues to use the platform to access what he needs.

Innovation is what will open up different paths to face challenges. Innovating is crucial. Otherwise, growth disappears and your value proposition goes with it.

iFN – What will be the strategic priorities for iFood in 2023? 

Diego – The big strategic priority for 2023 is delivery people. It is this priority that we are putting time, product development, money, dialogue. 

A discussion of labor regulation, improving the delivery person’s experience, proximity in dialogue, among other things related to delivery people, are the main priorities for 2023.

I would love to see society approving a regulation that respects the flexibility that the delivery person wants and provides minimum social protection to generate dignity. I am optimistic, there is room for dialogue and construction.

Was this content useful to you?

Related posts