MAHB: Dig­i­tal Man

Need fresh gro­ceries? There’s an app for that. Plus, vir­tual re­al­ity.

Esquire (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - mahb / dig­i­tal man by niki cheong @ni­kicheong

it’s said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stom­ach; that say­ing prob­a­bly has more mean­ing in Malaysia, where eat­ing is a na­tional pas­time. The best thing about hav­ing all this ac­cess to food isn’t just the va­ri­ety, but also the round-the-clock avail­abil­ity. Un­for­tu­nately, food in a jiffy isn’t al­ways the health­ier op­tion.

That’s why Hap­pyfresh, a new gro­cery-de­liv­ery mo­bile app, which aims to change the way you eat, has been launched. The app de­buted in March, and aims to help its users shave time off their busy sched­ules by do­ing the hard work of gro­cery shop­ping for them. “The only way was to eat out all the time,” CEO Markus Bih­ler said about in­clud­ing fresh meals into busy daily lives. “We wanted to know what was go­ing into our food and en­joyed be­ing able to pre­pare sim­ple meals at home.”

A food app that can save me time and do away with the has­sle of shop­ping from my life? I’m sold. In fact, as far as I’m con­cerned, an app like this was a long time com­ing. For the past few years, Malaysians have taken to shop­ping (our other na­tional pas­time) on the In­ter­net, so it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore some­one did the same for food. But on­line gro­cery shop­ping isn’t ex­actly new. Tesco Malaysia has been pro­vid­ing this ser­vice for a few years now, al­beit only for web­based orders. Its Gro­cery Home Shop­ping (GHS) ser­vice lets you plan your de­liv­er­ies up to three weeks in ad­vance, with two-hour de­liv­ery slots.

Hap­pyfresh’s ad­van­tage is its prom­ise to de­liver within the hour, though the app also al­lows orders to be placed up to six days in ad­vance. It’s able to do this by pur­chas­ing items for users at stores close to where they live. They can even choose which items they want to pur­chase from the store of their choice. Cur­rently, the app only ser­vices se­lected ar­eas in the Klang Val­ley. But con­ve­nience isn’t the only thing that it’s sell­ing— Hap­pyfresh also wants to en­cour­age a life­style change through the con­sump­tion of fresh food. “Hav­ing fresh gro­ceries de­liv­ered to your doorstep pre­sented the so­lu­tion,” Bih­ler said. To push the point, celebrity chef Anis Na­bi­lah, who is en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple to cook, has been cho­sen as one of the app’s faces.

Hap­pyfresh will add a dif­fer­ent di­men­sion to the grow­ing num­ber of on­line sites and apps ded­i­cated to lo­cal food, such as Hun­gry­gowhere and Open­rice Malaysia, which help you find food out­lets, as well as Foodpanda.my that spe­cialises in meal de­liv­ery. Then there are the nu­mer­ous restau­rant re­view sites, such as eat­drink.my. Con­sid­er­ing how much Malaysians love food, it is no won­der that Hap­pyfresh chose to launch in Kuala Lumpur. Jakarta will fol­low be­fore the com­pany ex­pands to the rest of South­east Asia.

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