Zomato launches 'pure veg' mode exclusively for vegetarian customers: Details

The ‘Pure Veg Fleet’ will only serve orders from pure vegetarian restaurants, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal said.
Zomato 'Pure Veg Mode'
Zomato 'Pure Veg Mode'
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Zomato Co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal on Tuesday, March 19, announced a ‘Pure Veg Mode’ and a ‘Pure Veg Fleet’ on the food delivery platform for customers with “100% vegetarian dietary preference.”

He said that the ‘Pure Veg Mode’ or the fleet does not serve or alienate any religion or political preference. The 'Pure Veg Mode' will consist of a curation of restaurants that serve only vegetarian food and exclude all restaurants that serve non-vegetarian items.

“India has the largest percentage of vegetarians in the world, and one of the most important feedback we’ve got from them is that they are very particular about how their food is cooked and handled,” Goyal posted in a thread on X. The ‘Pure Veg Fleet’ will only serve orders from pure vegetarian restaurants. “This means that a non-veg meal, or even a veg meal served by a non-veg restaurant, will never go inside the green delivery box meant for our ‘Pure Veg Fleet',” said Goyal. In the future, the company plans to add more specialised fleets for customer needs.

For example, there's a special cake delivery fleet coming up with hydraulic balancers that prevent the cake from getting smudged during delivery, the Zomato CEO announced. He added that the feature will be implemented in phases across the country in the next few weeks.

The food delivery platform registered Rs 125 crore in profit in the third quarter (Q3) of the current financial year, an improvement of Rs 390 crore as compared to the same quarter last year. Its consolidated adjusted revenue grew 53 per cent year-on-year to Rs 3,609 crore in Q3 FY24.

The decision has drawn criticism from social media users on X. Ashish K Mishra, a journalist, said that Indian startups have started to solve problems that does not exist at public shareholders expense.

Meena Kandasamy, a novelist and activist, said that this was reinforcing the hierarchical idea of caste into food. "Please employ only pure veg drivers to ride pure veg fleet bikes to serve pure veg food to pure veg folks. This is caste coded into food; a slap in the face of everyone who thinks the free market would smash caste. Sorry capitalism only gets into bed with oppressive structures."

In a sarcastic post, Krish Ashok, author of Masala Lab: The Science of Indian Cooking, said, "Our ancestors ate organic, unprocessed food, breathed clean air, used traditional utensils, and mostly lived upto to 40 years of age."

Nikhil Pahwa, founder of Medianama and the Internet Freedom Foundation, questioned the rationale behind the move. "How about a separate fleet for those vegetarians who don't have onion, garlic and don't want that mixed with their veg food.How about separate fleets for jhatka and halal non veg. What an idiotic move. Some societies will stop non veg deliveries & you're only enabling them," he stated.

(With inputs from IANS)

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