Pop Meals Co-Founder Interview On Why dahmakan Rebranded

After the start of dahmakan, they remained a healthy gourmet food brand for 6 years until their rebranding late last year to Pop Meals.

Over the years, the team’s business model has proven to be attractive to investors, generating 7 to 8 digit funding in their pre-Series A, Series A and Series B funding rounds.

These rounds have come from global investors like Silicon Valley Partech Partners’ billion dollar fund, UpHonest Capital of China, Korean food delivery unicorn Woowa Brothers, and even the former CEO of Nestle Germany.

They also expanded to Thailand in 2018 after acquiring Polpa, an end-to-end healthy food delivery start-up.

All of these events have increased their ability to lower their prices and add more locations. However, in an effort to capture a larger market, they decided to change their name to Pop Meals.

“Rebranding has been on our minds since 2019, when we saw how excited our customers were about the new direction of our menu,” Jessica, co-founder of Pop Meals, said with Vulcan Post.

“We felt that the old dahmakan brand didn’t capture everything the product now had to offer: more affordable, more exciting and popular food in more places than when we started.”

Change is necessary

“Our internal operations are still the same, we create recipes, cook our own food, build our own technology and operate our own outlets and deliveries,” she says.

Jessica, Chris and Jonathan, co-founders of Pop Meals, now renamed Pop Meals / Image credit: Pop Meals

Currently, they are still focused on the existing businesses they have locally and in Thailand due to the pandemic, but they will not rule out any new opportunities internationally for later this year.

As for their menu, some of their popular dishes remain, while the less popular have been replaced by new ones. The price of their meals ranges from RM11.99 to RM18.88 right now.

From what we can see, the price range of their meals has not changed drastically, if we use the dahmakan salted egg butter chicken dish (RM14.99) and the dahmakan butter chicken. Pop Meals Golden Salted Egg (also RM 14.99) as a reference.

What’s new is that on their site and the app they also categorize their meals as 95% would order it again on each food. Jessica thinks it’s a big leap from traditional F&B concepts which are simply focused on a particular cuisine or chef.

While they don’t include more details on nutritional value, they would include nutritional notes to specify if the meal contains allergens like tree nuts, shellfish, dairy, etc. On top of that, they also added an ingredient list for each of these meals.

A screenshot of their ingredient list section for a meal / Image credit: Pop Meals

Besides the price and menu change, the team also moved to the offline space.

“One of the biggest changes to this existing business model that we saw was the opportunity to become even more accessible to a wider audience, so with the rebranding we launched our first offline store concept. which includes food and take-out options, ”Jessica says.

“We realized that a large percentage of the population was still looking for affordable food and take out options. Therefore, having an offline presence gives us the opportunity to become even more convenient and closer to our customers. ”

A welcome hub

Now, going from a healthy food brand to popular dishes may not be the best news for the fans who have stuck with them all these years because of that branding.

However, it may be fair to say that healthy eating in general is still not as appealing to the Malaysian population as a whole, so the fulcrum is aligned with the brand’s goal of serving a wider market. .

Their meals are served in a small cylindrical paper cup / Image credit: Pop Meals

In fact, Jessica said their existing customers were very supportive of the rebranding and found the menu expansion and more convenient service refreshing.

“Especially if they were customers in early 2015, when they had to pre-order a week in advance and only had 2 menu choices,” she added.

Currently, their only Pop Meals concept store is in Cyberjaya, but the team’s plan for 2021 is to roll out more across Peninsular Malaysia.

  • You can read more about Pop Meals here.
  • You can read the previous articles on dahmakan that we have written here.

Featured Image Credit: Jessica Li, Co-Founder of Pop Meals

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Jothi Venkat

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