The mystery of takeaway 10-second meal delivery

The growth rate and market share do not cover up the single and similar taste of the cuisine package today, which seems to complement the young people’s desire for convenience and speed, but behind it hides their disappointment with the food – why go into a restaurant when it tastes like that anyway? There are more and more complaints: why is such and such a city a food desert? Why haven’t we eaten amazing specialties for a long time? Some people even ask in their souls: “Will the kitchen, like the sewing machine once disappeared? “

The taste of the cooking bag

After just one bite, Haruko knew that she had been hit again.

Half an hour ago, she ordered her own dinner on the take-out platform, open the take-out package, she found that the ribs and rice is not as hot as expected, the side dish garlic rape flower is “how to look how familiar The side dish, garlic rapeseed, looked familiar. One bite and Haruko was sure – this is the taste, the taste of the cooking package.

As a regular customer of takeout, Haruko has long been familiar with their taste, rapeseed is processed at high temperatures, becoming very soft, can not taste the flavor of the vegetables themselves, not delicious, but also not unpalatable.

The preparation package, counted as a kind of pre-made dishes in the broad sense, just need to open the package, simple heating, and then buckle the rice, a bowl of rich color and fair taste of rice can be served on the table in a few minutes or even dozens of seconds, or into the take-out box. Prepared dishes, on the other hand, are divided into different grades and degrees of maturity, some still need to open a stove, on the pan stir-fry.

This originally belonged to the fast food “shortcut”, these years also gradually rolled into the Chinese food.

In March of this year, Mang, a Shaky Voice vlogger, first walked into the cooking kit pavilion at the Shanghai Food & Beverage Exhibition. To the camera, Mang introduced the tomato beef noodle cooking package that only needs to be cooked in 50 seconds and will not be lumped for 50 minutes, which can be sold at a price of 55 yuan in a good business district; there is also a shelf life of 9 months, preserved at -18 degrees Celsius Canton style waxy fried rice, “is that Taste”. Whether it is a variety of small bowls of vegetables, or original flavor beef stew, pickled pepper phoenix claw, and even cold dish crisp cucumber, also in the cooking package is sealed well.

The standardized production makes the taste of the dishes in the cooking pack extremely stable, like Haruko practiced to identify the cooking pack skills of a few young people, many people even have their own set of easy to distinguish skills: wonton store covered rice, northern cuisine restaurant desktop marinated meat rice, and no physical store mushroom chicken rice …… stepping on the highest chance of mines Be careful.

Not only the taste, standardized cuisine package, was unified and the portion size. A few months ago, shortly after entering the workplace, Xiao Cheng ordered a curry chicken rice, fill in the note “can you give more curry”, soon, he received a call from the He soon received a call from the merchant: “Our curry is rationed, we can’t add more, sorry! “

In order to verify whether this ration of dishes is also from the cooking package, Cheng overnight online order a manufacturer’s catering trial five-pack combination, are such as “shredded fish and meat” “Sichuan marinated meat” and other common flavors of take-out, five packs of a total of 32.9 yuan.

A few days later, Cheng’s delivery arrived, opened a look, each packet is a person’s share of individual packaging, 200 grams, no less. She quickly boiled water to heat a packet of beef curry, less than 5 minutes, the familiar taste came to the surface, the amount of rice poured on the same as the last takeaway, but the price is several times cheaper. Xiao Cheng sighed, calling it “no middleman to earn the price difference”, and silently added the cooking package to his shopping cart again.

In fact, the cuisine package is not a domestic native product, even the word cuisine, is also a Japanese word. This industrialized food import was first born in the United States in 1920, and became popular in Japan in the 1980s, and convenience store rice and fried chicken are considered the predecessors of the cuisine package.

In 2015, Chinese food ushered in the first industry outbreak of cooking kits. Xiao Zhuang, a former salesperson of cooking packs, told the Daily Beast, “15 years is the most prosperous time in the industry, make money doing catering, wholesalers also make money. “He recalled that at the time, he sold the best-selling tabletop lo mein rice cooking packs, merchants can sell 7,000 copies a month, up to more than 10,000 copies, a quality business customers can enter tens of thousands of copies each month.

In recent years, with the listing of Meituan and Haidilao as the starting point, the capital market’s confidence in the restaurant industry has been increasing. Along with the entry of capital on a large scale, the landscape of Chinese food and beverage has gradually changed. The preparation package and pre-made dishes have become another focus of development driven by all parties. Some head brands analyzed in the relevant information, according to the compound growth rate of 20% per year estimated, in the next 6-7 years, this market will grow to trillion yuan scale.

But consumers in the trillion yuan market, this is still some disconnect, “you can use the cooking bag, but should not let me know”. Underneath Mang’s shake, there are also fans expressing their dissatisfaction with this new type of alternative: “In the future, people are merchant-raised bunnies. “

Who is hyping up the cooking package?

In addition to doing ShakeYin self-publishing, Mang is also a distributor for a cooking bag manufacturer. He told the Daily Beast, “fast food type takeaway stores, certainly the most with cooking packs. “Looking for him to order is basically merchants, and 80% for takeaway business. A research report by Guohai Securities also shows that the ratio of this market at both the merchant and consumer ends is still about 8:2.

Xiao Zeng, who opened a covered rice restaurant near a school in Fujian, is one of the people considering joining the cooking package users, one of the reasons, is to save some money.

Most cooking kit manufacturers point out in their promotions that cooking kits can reduce the labor cost of opening a business, i.e., the cost of hiring a chef. — According to the relevant data from the 2020 China Catering Annual Report, the average labor cost of formal catering enterprises accounts for 21.35% of operating income, 11.77% of rent costs, and 4% of energy costs. The temptation is not small to operate a cooking kit that is simple, does not require a professional chef, and does not even need to build a table and stove. And, in a way, the emergence of cooking kits and pre-made dishes does represent a mature business model of scale and standardization. Qing Yong, founder of Tomato Capital, mentioned that these two are important indicators for choosing investments.

Xiao had purchased a few of the highest-selling cooking kits on Taobao, but unfortunately, the taste was too far from the freshly fried ones. Indeed, many cheap cooking packs, the overall taste of sticky and thick, not to mention the high standard of “pot gas”. The first thing you need to do is to find a reliable local supplier, and the results will be a flurry of food package sales, shipping addresses from Harbin, Tianjin to Jiangxi, Anhui, almost all over the country.

“But I still didn’t dare to use it. “Xiao Zeng said that until now, hundreds of cooking packs sent from all directions are still stacked in the freezer of Xiao Zeng’s hotel, waiting to survive the shelf life of up to 12 months. In addition to the taste, the cost effectiveness of the packs is also the core of his hesitation. Cheap packs can indeed save money, but the physical store is different from the take-away store, a few months to do collapse can also change the name to continue to open, many friends doing catering, have advised him not to smash their own sign. And the taste of fair cuisine package, the price is not low. Mang cited an example with his own agent’s brand, the same potato and beef rice, the average price of the cooking package more than 6 yuan, while the cost of ingredients to do one yourself, only 4 yuan less, the gross profit per dish is much higher than the cooking package.

Cost control is the core of opening a restaurant, especially in recent years after the takeaway platform for high draw points. Xiao Zeng said, plus red packets, activities, various costs stacked under the single, under 10 yuan to receive a single loss a single, 8 yuan to sell the dish, to hand about 2.4 yuan, far below the cost price.

To get profit from the increasingly low gross profit, in addition to compressing costs, is to improve sales, take the road of thin profit. The takeaway platform is also strengthening the awareness of merchants to pursue sales, high sales, good or bad reviews, these two indicators have a decisive role in ranking merchants.

High sales need to meal fast, or eventually the takeaway flying car took off the cooking package, unpacking, heating, cooking, pouring into the bowl, the operation is only two or three minutes to solve another core demand of the business.

This solution provided by the cooking package, Mang is also recognized: “In addition to fast, there is no other advantage. “

Will the kitchen and chef disappear?

Auntie Xu’s family’s net red rice ball store, also trying to grasp the “trend” of the cooking package.

Since the opening of the store in March this year, there are always customers who get the menu, ask if there are dishes other than rice balls, more times, Auntie Xu also realized the limited nature of rice balls. After several consultations, she found inspiration from Yoshinoya and other chain restaurant model, and decided to try the cuisine package.

With an average price of less than 7 yuan, Auntie Xu bought back eight flavors of dishes on Taobao and started a tasting conference. To her surprise, four common meat takeaway dishes, such as dried plum cabbage with pork, roast duck with tea tree mushrooms and marinated pork rice, tasted much higher than the passing line, and compared to the ready-made rice balls, which took more than 12 minutes to prepare, the meal took only 2 minutes. Auntie Xu suddenly understands why the use of cooking packs has become the default for her peers, as they can further satisfy the diverse needs of diners without adding extra staff.

“And the whole process is very time-consuming, like the plum cabbage with pork dish. “Auntie Xu said she was so surprised by the benefits generated by the 7 yuan that she even began to consider putting the dish into her own special rice balls.

Indeed, with multiple pairs of eyes watching, the growth of cooking kits and pre-made dishes has pressed the accelerator button, and standards such as cold chain and hygiene have continued to improve. A series of medium- and high-end pre-products already have a more mature process technology, and the common use of chain restaurants, but also to dispel the concerns of many ordinary businesses.

Representative products are “black pepper beef tenderloin”, “diced pork with eggplant sauce Suzhou Aichi Xiang, one of the first large enterprises to test the waters of semi-finished dishes, was successfully listed in April this year. Before Aichi Xiang became the first domestic stock in this field, Boxcar Factory also set up a new 3R business unit last year, and launched its own “Roast Beef with Bamboo Shoots” and “Auntie Yan’s Eight Treasures Rice”. Auntie Yan’s Eight Treasures Rice”, “Szechuan Style Lo Mein “and other semi-finished food packages into the field of prepared dishes.

A large number of cooking kits and pre-prepared dishes and related enterprises have also gained the attention of capital. Last May, the supply chain platform “looking for ingredients”, announced that it had received 80 million Series A and A + rounds of financing, and the company, which was only established in 2019, The goal is to help 20,000 small and medium-sized food processing plants connect to the downstream market within three years. In March this year, “Zhenwei Xiaomeiyuan” received its third round of financing since its establishment, with tens of millions of yuan.

According to the big data from the sky-eye search, up to now, there are more than 69,000 domestic enterprises with the business name or business scope of “frozen, prepared food, prepared food, semi-finished food, ready-to-eat, net food”. There are more than 69,000 enterprises. According to data from Boxma Fresh Life, semi-finished dishes are one of the most popular items among post-95 consumers, with the proportion of purchases reaching twice that of post-65 consumers, and during the Spring Festival last year, sales of semi-finished dishes on Tmall surged 1,683% year-on-year.

But the growth rate and market share does not cover up the single taste and similarity of the cooking package today, the cooking package seems to complement the young people’s desire for convenience and speed, but behind them hides their disappointment in the food – anyway, the taste is just like that, why go into the restaurant? There are more and more complaints: Why is such and such a city a food desert? Why haven’t we eaten amazing specialties for a long time? Some people even ask in their souls: “Will the kitchen, like the sewing machine once disappeared? “

In the past, the reputation of a restaurant, and the chef at the helm of a close relationship. The master is good, followed by a steady stream of apprentices, the restaurant door is often crowded, once the meal time, full of fragrance. Difficult taste of diners, a bite will be able to taste today’s dishes are apprentices fried, or master chef fried. In this “people” as the core of the traditional restaurant training mechanism, all the advantages of cooking package does not seem to exist – – on labor costs, the apprentices, the apprentices, the apprentices, the apprentices, the apprentices. -In terms of labor cost, the apprentices provide a lot of free labor; in terms of speed, the apprentices will play all the necessary hands to prepare the dishes, and no one will rush the order; even on the issue of food waste, the kitchen team can also eat “folded dishes (i.e., combined dishes, the untouched dishes mixed together) way together to solve, but also to reduce the cost of staff meals. As for the taste, it is even smaller.

However, this advantage brought by “people” is being eliminated because of the chef’s generation. Before doing self-publishing, Mang used to open a spicy hotpot store, as a chef, he did not worry about no manpower, because there are always apprentices to learn the craft. But with the pursuit of fast and cost-effective, the role played by the chef are decreasing, learning technology is a nightmare.

Earlier this year, Xibei shouted the slogan “no chef, no plate, heated on the spot to serve”, which was widely criticized. -For the Chinese, the kitchen is a hot, lively and beautiful term, without a chef, it is less popular.

So it seems that the kitchen and the master chef in it will disappear? does not seem to be a false proposition anymore.