For most of us, 2020 is the year we experienced a small-scale solat tarawih during Ramadan; and Raya celebrations that only lasted for a day. There were also no physical Ramadan bazaars in the neighbourhood due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
When you put it that way, Ramadan and Raya definitely sounded less festive this year. However, according to Grab, Malaysians definitely made the best out of this ‘new normal’ Raya by hyping up the celebrations from the safety and comforts of their homes.
And we celebrated with the one thing we love and do best – food.
It is no surprise that one of the most popular items on GrabMart during Ramadan was serai
Grab reported that GrabMart received over 9,000 orders of lemongrass, coconut milk, tofu, tempe, and bean sprouts during the fasting month. On top of that, dates were an obvious favourite too with an average of 200 orders per day!
This was expected as more people prepared their iftar meals at home, since no dine-ins were allowed that time. Someone even ordered RM350 worth of frozen lamb during this period – perhaps the menu of the week was lamb and the person had a huge family to cater for.
The e-Kitchen Bazar initiative by the Selangor State Government and Grab was also popular in the Klang Valley
The annual Ramadan bazaars contribute a significant amount to the income of many micro-entrepreneurs and street vendors. To help them sustain their business, Grab partnered with the Selangor State Government to launch 11 e-Kitchen Bazars across Selangor. The initiative allows for safe, contactless payment; as well as lending these small-time vendors Grab’s logistics strength while letting Malaysians still enjoy their bazaar favourites.
The initiative was well received by those hungry for Ramadan Bazar staples, with one location in particular (e-Kitchen Bazar Damansara/TTDI) earning RM8,000 in sales within a day.
Overall, the most popular food from the e-Kitchens was murtabak (more than 10,000 orders) – a usual bazaar favourite among Malaysians. The other popular e-Bazar dishes were roti john, nasi kerabu, nasi briyani, and nasi tomato. According to Grab, these three rice dishes alone accounted for about 1,800kg of rice served.
For Raya, Malaysians were ordering a lot of popcorns via Grab
As expected, satay and Raya cookies are among the top items sold via GrabExpress around the Raya period. These were freshly prepared by home-based sellers on the day itself (they take orders up to 2pm daily), and would be delivered to your homes just in time for buka puasa.
However, it was a pleasant surprise to see that popcorn was among the top 5 most-ordered items for Raya. Because… popcorn is not exactly a Raya snack? At least, not traditionally.
My personal take on this is that with cinemas still closed, people probably miss the vibe of watching a movie in the theatres. And since GrabMart was delivering the same popcorn we get from these cinemas, Malaysians were probably ordering it for movie nights at home.
Because, honestly, the smell of popcorn really does remind you of the cinemas – this is me speaking from experience.
All in all, we did enjoy a good and safe Raya
As most Malaysians followed the rules laid out, we are fortunate to not have any spike in cases from the Raya season. Part of this could be attributed to the convenience provided by the digitalisation of services, as Malaysians could purchase their Raya essentials safely through online means such as Grab.
Grab found that Malaysians managed to save more than RM3 million through contactless payment methods. The transactions from which these savings come from are mostly for groceries, food, and Raya clothing. Malaysians also showed their kindness by donating over 17 million GrabReward Points to charities and NGOs via the app.
Now that we are in the recovery phase of the MCO, let us continue to do good and practise social distancing rules so that – God willing – we will overcome this pandemic soon.
Check out Grab’s infographic on how Malaysians celebrate the ‘new normal’ Ramadan and Raya with Grab:
This article is sponsored by Grab.
I have an unhealthy obsession with chocolate, gummy candy, and "Confucius says" jokes.