"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." – Rumi

On-Demand Food Delivery Project

The idea came by when we visited Singapore after living in Canada and Czech Republic for a while. The ingredients available in the South East Asian region are amazing and served us as an inspiration to try new dishes and, possibly, to cook at home. In addition, I am very picky about certain foods and ingredients and, therefore, would love to substitute or completely remove some ingredients in the dishes served in local food outlets. However, the trip to the supermarkets did not encourage experimenting, because most of the components to cook a meal were sold in huge quantities, whereas we wanted to have a one-time experimentation.

THE PROBLEM:

I would like to cook something at home just once for myself. I do not want to buy regular ingredients in the grocery because 1) I have never tried the dish before and have no idea whether I will like it; 2) thus, buying in bulk is not an option as I want the cooking to be a one time event; 3) I am just visiting the area and do not plan to stay here for a long time to supply myself with a bulk of spices/veggies/frozen foods or I do not even have a fridge.

THE SOLUTION:

To create a service that enables people to enter a complete recipe and/or submit ingredients, specify the number of servings, and receive the customized basket with pre-measured  ingredients, which satisfy the cooking plan of an individual customer.

THE PROCESS:

Our food delivery service will collaborate with a few grocers (for instance, a grocery store/super market) that have excess supplies of products soon to be discounted (for example, the shelf life for dry produce expires in around a month), yet the food is still fresh and in safe edible state. We will be taking orders from our customers and, using the data analytics software, separate the recipe food into required ingredients and create baskets for each order. Our advantage is in splitting big, bulky items for a few customers and benefiting from the economies of scale.

THE CUSTOMERS:

People who are inspired by the art of cooking and want to try something new and exotic. They are not price sensitive, but value time and convenience. Our customers are young professionals or students who live alone, which does not limit them to have self-indulgence time. They would love to try out new recipes offered in small quantities, so they can order a few plates per order to try something exciting every day.

(could this be our possible ad campaign?)


Analysis

The rivals:

I have considered subscription-based services like Plated, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron, which are the most prominent candidates to benchmark our new service and to compete with in the market. First, catering to dietary needs is a must. (halal, vegan, kosher, anyone?) Also, subscription pricing reflects the struggle of a tie-in for consumers, so we need to consider it since we want to give our clients flexibility. Clearly, our service will have an advantage of no minimum order limit policy and the possibility to choose own ingredients/own recipes.

Below is what consumers say about the services listed above. Obviously, single person servings, autonomy to prepare dishes and having flexibility in the process of cooking are flying around the consumers’ minds while using other services.


 IMPLEMENTATION

OUR SERVICE FEATURES:

  • CORE: integration with cooking websites to easily add/adjust ingredients and review recipes (example: Pinterest)
  • CORE: constantly learning recommendation system that tracks previous dishes ordered by user
  • CORE: to add on to trial and experimentation, making monthly featured exotic recipes with limited quantities, which help us to order the specific, rare, or expensive ingredients for such dishes in advance and avoid the left-overs
  • CORE: enabling “add-on” recipes that give clients a purchase discount if ordered; from a firm’s perspective, it helps to scrap overstocked and quickly perishable ingredients in timely manner
  • POTENTIAL: collaborating with food bloggers to complement the ordering service with social features (community building)
  • POTENTIAL: ordering a personal cookbook comprised of the recipes ordered and later favourited by the customer, which can be ordered online, printed, and delivered at home via mail

foreseeing the issues:

– need to ensure that we have a big customer base to leverage on the economies of scale
– need to figure out the delivery/collection of the dish ingredients (!)
– must figure out the delivery methods of foods that require refrigeration

Overcoming these issues:

We will collaborate with local grocery stores and farmers to balance out the need for fresh ingredients, staple foods, rare spices etc. The best option to reach a wide established customer base is to collaborate with food basket delivery services because 1) they have established network of grocery suppliers 2) they have means to deliver efficiently and on time 3) they know how to refrigerate those ingredients throughout the delivery time frame.

To be continued…

Brainstorming the name:
“The Fridge”
You always visit it when you are bored
The slogan is too narrow, it is a fun play on the word use, yet it targets the segment of people who look into cooking when they have excess of free time. However, we want the service to be used by expats and travellers, as well as by couple who want to spend time together doing something interesting. Also, the fridge is used for cold produce, but how about grains, spices, dried foods, and condiments?

“Meal Deal”

“Lonely/Solitary Olive”

“L’olive isolée”


Photo Sources:

https://foodiesfeed.com/free-food-images/healthy-food-images/
http://minimalistbaker.com/my-favorite-vegan-pizza/

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