Business / Industries

So what's inside your lunch box today?

By Shi Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-17 07:11

So what's inside your lunch box today?

A women orders a selection of food through mobile apps. [Photo/China Daily]

Online food delivery companies sp‘routing up in leading cities to cater for hungry mid-day office workers

A click of a smartphone button has revolutionized the one-hour lunch break and turned those snaking lines of customers outside city restaurants into a distant memory.

With the rise of online food delivery companies, customers are now surrounded by an array of options that have triggered a boom in the online-to offline, or O2O, business.

Even a high-profile home-cooking service, Shaofanfan, has moved into the marketplace to grab a lucrative slice of the pie by morphing into Taste Bud.

"Compared to the home-cooking service, making and delivering lunch boxes will place us in a more sizeable market," Zhang Zhijian, who founded Shaofanfan in December 2014 before it was transformed into Taste Bud last month, said

"Even though Taste Bud covers a small area in Shanghai and the profit for each lunch box is limited, we can receive 1,000 orders every day. And that amount will increase in future," he added without disclosing detailed financial figures.

When the company was known as Shaofanfan, it could call on a team of 700 chiefs to prepare meals for its home-cooking service.

Now, they are putting together lunch boxes for Shanghai's office workers.

Yet the decision to move into an already crowded business arena is not surprising since the sector has expanded rapidly in the past few years.

By simply downloading a mobile app on a smartphone, hungry customers in the city's central business area can buy a lunch box for no more than 40 yuan ($6.3).

Beverages such as sparkling water or ginger ale are extra.

Naturally, competition is fierce for companies such as Taste Bud, which is a newcomer to the lunch box game.

"If it is to survive in the market, the company has to provide more refined services which are tailor-made to consumers," Sun Mengzi, a senior analyst from market consultancy Analysys International, said.

That is exactly what Xinwei Cook is trying to do after launching a website to provide semi-finished Western-style food and delivery services last year.

In March 2014, the company received 3 million yuan in angel funding from Morningside Ventures in Hong Kong. Then in early September, it received a 10 million yuan Pre-A round financing from Capital Today in Shanghai and Morningside Ventures.

Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks