F&B group started a healthy meal subscription biz amid Covid-19

In 2017, Vulcan Post presented the local F&B group Creative Eateries. He runs several popular restaurants in different cuisines including Bangkok Jam, Siam Kitchen, and Suki-Ya, among others.

Founded by Anthony Wong in 1992, Creative Eateries began with the Hot Stones Steak and Seafood restaurant.

While Wong is still CEO, his two daughters – Bonnie and Bernadette – have joined the family business.

Bonnie joined Creative Eateries in 2013, where she juggled several roles, including as finance manager and marketing manager. Today, she leads the Group as Chief Operating Officer (COO), overseeing the activity in Singapore and at regional level.

Beyond catering concepts, Creative Eateries has expanded to offer catering services and, more recently, a healthy meal subscription service.

The Covid-19 spurred the launch of this new service

preparation box
Image Credit: PrepBox

PrepBox is a group-managed meal preparation brand, which was conceptualized during ‘circuit breaker’ last year.

During this time, Bonnie felt that there was greater acceptance of food delivery and subscription options among consumers.

“While Covid-19 has changed many aspects of our business, it also gives us opportunities to do things differently, as customers are now open to consume differently. We thought there was no better time to launch PrepBox, ”she said.

Additionally, the 32-year-old has observed some emerging trends that could help propel the success of their meal subscription service.

First, more and more people are concerned about their physical well-being and healthy diets. Second, consumers are increasingly open to ready meals and delivery. Finally, as more and more people work from home, they are opting for fuss-free meals.

With more and more people working from home, we are seeing an increased demand for meal subscriptions, especially when on-site meals were not permitted.

Many customers (also) shared with us that the PrepBox meals were perfect as they might not have time to cook for themselves and the family, and with these meals readily available in their refrigerator, it was one less thing they had to worry about.

– Bonnie Wong, COO of Creative Eateries

By leveraging Creative Eateries’ existing capabilities and central kitchen, PrepBox’s goal was to help customers plan their meals without having to worry about nutrition and preparation.

Enjoy healthy meals without worrying about preparation

When first launched, PrepBox was designed for people who are just looking for healthy, hassle-free meals.

We found that while clients did not have an active weight goal, they preferred greater flexibility and selection, while clients with specific health goals were much clingier.

– Bonnie Wong, COO of Creative Eateries

preparation box
Image Credit: PrepBox

That’s why PrepBox has offered three different diet options – Signature, Low-Calorie, and Keto-friendly – to meet various weight and health goals.

Each meal contains on average between 430kcal and 550kcal with a balanced percentage allocated to macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

They worked with certified nutritionists to reduce the calorie count in their Keto-friendly meals and added a low-calorie menu specifically for people in control of their daily calorie intake.

Meals are sous-vide and slowly cooked to retain nutrition and increase tenderness while retaining flavor.

Bonnie added that during the prep and sealing process, their meals are also forced air cooled and then vacuum sealed. Oxygen is removed and replaced with non-reactive gases to keep meals fresh.

They are then refrigerated before being delivered straight to your door in one go over the weekend.

preparation box
Image Credit: PrepBox

Subscribers can choose their meals which include options for five, seven and 10 meals per week, starting at S $ 13 per box. They can plan their meals up to four weeks in advance with no commitment period and with a delivery charge of S $ 0.

Meals can be stored for up to seven days from the date of delivery, so you can have the freedom to have them any time of the week – just reheat them in the microwave or steamed when you want them. want to dig.

The menus change weekly and offer a variety of different cuisines, with dishes ranging from Baked Free-range Chicken Tikka Masala, Udon Pepper Crab, Korean Salmon Baked Gochujang to Balinese Grilled Chicken, Hungarian Beef Goulash and Khra. Pow Thai, all in one week.

The challenges of starting a new brand

Building brand awareness for a new brand is always a challenge and even more so for an online brand without a physical presence. During the soft launch, we worked closely with groups of gym supporters who had expressed interest.

We worked on improving our operational process for a month prior to publicizing the product. Today, we continue to work with our gym and personal trainer partners to spread the word.

– Bonnie Wong, COO of Creative Eateries

Commenting on this partnership, Bonnie explained that losing weight is about combining diet and exercise.

PrepBox can supplement exercise plans to help them achieve their desired fitness goals. Through this partnership, Creative Eateries also collected data to better understand its customers and fine-tune meals accordingly.

preparation box
Image Credit: PrepBox

In addition, after the first week of subscription, Creative Eateries made a point of reaching out to its consumers to get feedback on what they like and areas for improvement.

They received favorable responses, many praising the delight and convenience of their service.

In their next phase, Bonnie explained that they plan to launch a physical market to provide even more flexibility to customers.

To date, PrepBox has over 300 subscribers and has sent over 1,300 meals across the island in its first month of establishment.

Thrive in the F&B landscape

Bonnie agrees that the F&B landscape in Singapore is very competitive. Either way, it will continue to thrive although brand cycles get shorter.

Brands will also need to bring new products to market faster with fewer resources. Although it continues to get more difficult, it remains a market in which we want to take a stake.

We need to constantly think about how we can help each client achieve their goals while streamlining the backend process.

– Bonnie Wong, COO of Creative Eateries

Sharing future business plans, PrepBox is looking to launch a market that offers ready-to-cook meals as an add-on option for existing subscribers.

They are also looking to target a new group of customers who are looking for a longer shelf life of prepared items or high protein meals for bodybuilding.

Featured Image Credit: SMU / PrepBox

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