Dinner is being disrupted
What we’re doing at dinner time and what it means for food business.
The dinner dilemma
Healthy, freshly prepared meals are in high demand, yes. But there’s less and less time and desire to cook them from scratch 3 times/day, 6 days/week. Dinner planning to solve this eternal dilemma is on the rise as evidenced by emerging subscription meal kits.
Prepared meals offer busy households a convenient way to source their meals. Usually only requiring reheating for consumption, it’s popular among young professionals and time-poor parents, as well as older people who cannot, or prefer not to cook for themselves.
Eating meals at home is being seen as a way to safeguard family time, and to bring people together. Mindful of their hectic schedules, many families are making meal times a priority with three-quarters of parents wishing they could spend more time with their family, and using dinner time as a way to reconnect.
Consumer preferences and requirements are changing and becoming more complex. The number of people eating gluten free, vegan and low salt is growing, making it harder for households to cater at home for each individual need.
A growing awareness of the link between diet and health has seen consumers turn to clean eating to meet their wellness goals. Specifically, 40% of young people aged 18 to 30 are consuming a diet consistent with clean- eating. Consumers are increasingly demanding foods that are raw and unprocessed, avoiding foods high in sugar, fat or additives and asking businesses to put their cards on the table and to provide open information about the nutrition and provenance of food.
Convenience is king
Time-poor eaters have more options than ever before and there is a shift in the composition of food spending with a greater share of food budgets spent on food that is prepared outside the home.
The accessibility of the Internet is lowering the barriers to entry for hopeful food businesses. Delivery-only businesses can be run out of home kitchens, smaller or collaborative kitchens, reducing the need for significant upfront capital. And with smartphone penetration rates growing, customers are increasingly able to interact with food delivery businesses.
Technology is disrupting dinner. Data analytics and digital platforms offer food business the opportunity to understand customer preferences and trends in a way that was not previously possible.
The rise of the tech platform is creating new opportunities for food providers. It is increasingly possible for even the smallest businesses to find new customers, in food this opens the door in particular for home kitchens, where the ability to operate delivery only restaurants makes it possible to start, without the need for significant capital.
"A lot of the success of the restaurant has been through the community we built through Cookaborough. The first customers who booked tables in our restaurant were our regular Cookaborough customers, and they still are.”
Al Dente, Melbourne
Is there a problem?
There’s demand, and plenty of people who have the skills to meet it. Sounds simple. So what’s the issue here?
Food business is hard
More like near impossible! Surviving on a whiff of adrenaline, talent and a fierce passion, chefs, artisan produce makers and food stores typically run on empty. A high cost of entry,a fiercely competitive marketplace, tight margins, a lot of waste and costly delivery platform fees all to blame.
So despite the huge opportunity to solve the dinner dilemma, running a small food business is hard. It’s hard to start, hard to keep going, and hard to grow.
Where to start
Direct-to-consumer selling requires the development of new skills, capabilities, and business and pricing models, and the trend is clear: many consumers are moving online. To reach them, companies have to go there, too. But when it comes to selling directly to consumers food business often doesn’t really know where to start and change is hard.
East to order, hard to manage
The increasing choice of ordering platforms can be overwhelming and they are built with the end customer in mind, not the business owners. Cookaborough, while making it easy for the customer, is built specifically to make it easy for your business to run a weekly menu.
The time is ripe
If ever there was the time to start a predictable, local, ready-made meals business, it’s now. Cookaborough was built as a way for small food businesses to thrive. A new, easy way for existing businesses, and an easy way for others to start.
Get in touch [email protected] to start a sustainable, future-proof food business, solving the dinner dilemma one meal at a time.