The value of con­ve­nience has start-ups send­ing pre­mium meats and bev­er­age equip­ment right to peo­ple's doorsteps

F&B World - - NEWS - Text by JANICA BALASOLLA Photo cour­tesy of BEVTOOLS

Peo­ple in the metro may be spoiled for choice given the wide va­ri­ety and num­ber of restau­rants at their dis­posal. Even so, more and more peo­ple are choos­ing to dine at home, due in large part to traf­fic. But that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean they’re miss­ing out, as food com­pa­nies are tak­ing ad­van­tage of these op­por­tu­ni­ties. Mak­ing good use of tech­nol­ogy, es­tab­lish­ments are set­ting up web- based and mo­bile app de­liv­ery ser­vices to bring ex­actly what the con­sumers are look­ing for— con­ve­nience.

World­wide, the mar­ket for food de­liv­ery is es­ti­mated at $ 107 bil­lion or one per­cent of the to­tal food mar­ket and four per­cent of food sold through restau­rants and fast food chains, ac­cord­ing to global con­sult­ing firm McKin­sey & Com­pany. Rev­enue in the Philip­pine food de­liv­ery seg­ment is ex­pected to amount to $ 378 mil­lion in 2017, ac­cord­ing to Euromon­i­tor— the bulk of which will come from the most com­mon form: tra­di­tional de­liv­er­ies. Most of these orders are still placed by phone, and pizza tops the list of dishes typ­i­cally or­dered from this ser­vice. The emer­gence of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy though is chang­ing the norm, as food es­tab­lish­ments are tak­ing de­liv­er­ies to the next level.

SoLo Meat Group Inc. is a lo­cally owned com­pany that im­ports and sup­plies pre­mium Aus­tralian meat and com­modi­ties to busi­nesses in the coun­try. Re­cently, they launched their on­line meat de­liv­ery ser­vice, hop­ing to tap a wider mar­ket that in­cludes house­holds. “Be­fore we launched our on­line re­tail ready range, we had done a lot of mar­ket re­search look­ing at the main cri­te­ria, which are cost, types of steaks or meat, ea­ger­ness to have this ser­vice in the metro, and de­liv­ery meth­ods,” says co- owner Arse­nio Soli­nap. The re­sult of their study led them to launch­ing solomeat­group. com, where cus­tomers can or­der Aus­tralian pre­mium eye fil­let steak and Har­vey beef ten­der­loin with just a few clicks.

The same rings true for Bevtools, a one- stop shop that pro­vides var­i­ous in­gre­di­ents and uten­sils for mak­ing beverages. They re­cently launched their liquor de­liv­ery ser­vice that guar­an­tees to bring ev­ery­thing you could pos­si­bly need— cop­per jig­gers, cob­bler shak­ers, Ja­panese whiskies, and im­ported gins. “We see that peo­ple are start­ing to per­ceive con­ve­nience and in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion as the new norm, and de­liv­er­ing liquor within 90 min­utes or less up un­til mid­night brings con­ve­nience to a whole dif­fer­ent level,” says CEO Alvin Ve­lasco. “Es­pe­cially when your party runs out of drinks. Or your av­er­age con­ve­nience store doesn’t have that spe­cific spirit you’re look­ing for.”

Gail Go and Jane Dee, on the other hand, of­fer peo­ple a more con­sci­en­tious healthy snack­ing with Raw Bites, a cu­rated box of good­for- you snacks from both here and abroad de­liv­ered to your doorstep. Hit­ting two trends with one ser­vice, their start- up not only makes for a good first step to­wards a more holis­tic life­style, but also does away with peo­ple hav­ing to worry about what ex­actly to eat. Ev­ery month, Raw Bites sub­scribers can ex­pect a lineup of nu­tri­tious snacks that fall un­der these cat­e­gories: or­ganic, ve­gan, gluten- free, and de­void of re­fined sugar or preser­va­tives. Among them are cof­fee cho­co­late with mul­ber­ries from Co­coa, and peanut but­ter slug from Pic’s.

These star­tups have come to ac­cept Manila traf­fic as an in­evitable sit­u­a­tion, so pre­par­ing ahead is key. “We make sure our rid­ers are no­ti­fied as soon as an or­der gets placed and our items are ef­fi­ciently picked and packed with the least pos­si­ble turn­around time,” says Ve­lasco. The ma­jor chal­lenges for these de­liv­ery busi­nesses are main­tain­ing the ex­pected qual­ity of the food and cus­tomer stan­dard and get­ting more peo­ple to pur­chase on­line, though it is ex­pected that the on­line food de­liv­ery mar­ket will in­crease as ur­ban pop­u­la­tion also in­creases in the next few years.

It is no longer enough to just have a great prod­uct when it comes to at­tract­ing cus­tomers. With the avail­able plat­forms on­line, food es­tab­lish­ments need to uti­lize all that they can gather and pri­or­i­tize their tar­get cus­tomers by pro­vid­ing them what they need to know. In the end, the cus­tomer’s ex­pe­ri­ence will re­main the most rel­e­vant cri­te­ria for these food de­liv­ery ser­vices.

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