In what ways do prepared dishes appeal to consumers?What kind of entrepreneurial opportunities will it bring?

2022-07-31 0 By

When prepared dishes join the New Year’s Eve dinner camp, prepared dishes are particularly noticeable in the scenes of New Year’s Eve dinners all over the country during this year’s Spring Festival.On the eve of the festival, major festive dishes such as Buddha Tiaoqiang, Huajiao chicken, squirrel mandarin fish and soy sauce fragrant hock are available in supermarkets, restaurants and e-commerce platforms in the form of pre-prepared menu items or set packages. Most of the packages are also equipped with auspicious words such as “Good luck”, “Fu Hu Welcoming spring” and “Dragon Teng And Tiger Leaping”.In the context of epidemic prevention and control and the promotion of local Chinese New Year, pre-processed dishes are stored in frozen or vacuum packaging and can be eaten by simple cooking in the later stage, providing consumers with a new idea for New Year’s Eve dinner.Wu Xue, a female student born in the 1990s in Beijing, ordered a gift box with eight prepared dishes for the New Year’s Eve dinner. “In the past, the dinner was prepared by the elders alone, so it took days to shop. We also had to prepare fried balls, pork forks and lotus root boxes so that we could send several bags of snacks to relatives when we visited.Due to COVID-19, the holiday process has been simplified, and people have been able to avoid visiting their homes. There are too many dishes to eat at home, so try prepared dishes instead.”Compared with the Spring Festival in 2021, consumers seem to be bolder and more accepting of prepared meals this year, even buying five or eight sets of set meals.””Said Weng Bocheng, founder of the prepared food brand Maizma.Luo Hua, director of e-commerce operations at Songhe Lou, has also noticed the phenomenon. He learned from comments on the online store that most of the hoarding occurred among young people, “mostly for the elderly in their families.”According to business Big Data monitoring on key e-commerce platforms, semi-finished dishes have become popular since the launch of the 2022 National Online Spring Festival, with sales of prepared dishes increasing by 45.9% year-on-year.What is it about prepared food that appeals to consumers?What kind of entrepreneurial opportunities and market imagination does it bring?”Hard dishes” can also be made simply. “Prepared dishes, which are no washing, no cutting, no seasoning, are perfect for people like me who are not good at cooking and have food requirements. They are the ‘Gospel of lazy people’.””Said Ye, a girl born after 1995.Ye, who lives in Hunan province, is the founder of the “Semi-finished Food Exchange Center” interest group on douban.com.Since its establishment a year ago, the group has attracted nearly 40,000 members who are interested in pre-processed food to share their culinary experiences and “trepidation” experiences.”What kind of prepared dishes are suitable for serving on the dinner table on Lunar New Year’s Eve has been the most discussed question in the group recently. Many people have nominated” hard dishes “such as Buddha Tiaoqiang and Huajiao Chicken, which are difficult to operate and complicated in technology.”Declare.Preserved vegetable braised pork and pickled fish slice, is Ye Shu selected family reunion dinner to himself, “these two dishes cooking steps are tedious, belong to the ‘a link do wrong, to destroy the whole dish’ type, instead of cooking” tipping “New Year, it is better to directly use prefabricated dishes, also save time to do it, like the plum food braised pork, heating can directly eat” in a few minutes.In Luo hua’s view, “non-homily” is one of the key attractions of prepared dishes.”For example, a kungfu dish such as squirrel mandarin fish requires a knife to be sliced on the fish and fried in hot oil until golden brown. It is a test of knife skills and cooking skills and is difficult to make successfully at home.The most difficult part of this dish has been completed. Consumers only need to take out the semi-finished product, refry it and pour juice according to the video tutorial. After a few minutes of operation, they can harvest a good squirrel mandarin fish during the New Year’s Eve dinner.Rituximab said.In addition to the pre-cooking process and lowering the cooking barrier of “hard dishes”, as a time-renowned Brand of Subang cuisine, the pre-prepared dishes developed by Songhe House, such as squirrel mandarin fish, steamed white fish, chicken head rice, hand-shelled river shrimp, and braised bamboo sprout clothes with ham, also have strong local characteristics, providing consumers with the possibility to taste Subang cuisine at home.”The background data shows that there are a lot of New Year’s Eve dinner packages sent to colleges and universities around the country this year. There must be many students who stay in school for the New Year and are thinking about the taste of their hometown.”Rituximab said.It is worth noting that, recently, such as Zhiweiguan, Xinya Cantonese Restaurant, Xinghualou, Guangzhou Restaurant, Tao Tao ju and other established restaurants, will make their signature dishes prepared versions.The gift box for the lunar New Year’s Eve dinner that Wu bought came from a time-honored brand that has not yet opened a branch in Beijing.How to restore the taste is an important criterion to measure the value of dishes.The “hard dishes” with complicated techniques and the introduction of local flavor are certainly “plus” for prepared dishes, but if the taste is too different from that of freshly cooked dishes, it will still be difficult to capture the hearts and stomachs of consumers even if the dishes look brilliant.Ye Shu is more concerned about the taste difference of prepared dishes. “Even if it is the same dish, the production process and seasoning level of different brands will also have slight differences, or you can eat different dishes.I tasted the two prepared dishes for the New Year’s Eve dinner in advance to make sure I had the right taste.The positioning of prepared dishes is between catering and retail food, involving a wide range of categories. Food suppliers, chain catering brands, e-commerce platforms, supermarkets and start-up companies all rely on their own superior resources to carry out layout around the r&d, production and sales of dishes.”The emergence of new brands is a critical stage for entrepreneurship.””Mr. Weng said.According to Skyeye, there are 68,000 companies related to prepared dishes in China, nearly 58% of which were established within five years. In 2018, the number of companies registered exceeded 10,000 for the first time. In 2019 and 2020, the number of companies registered exceeded 12,000.Working hard on the taste of dishes is a necessary part of the brand name of the prepared dishes related enterprises.”In order to make instant dishes have the taste of fresh cooking, we have iterated three times on just one piece of poached beef, adjusting the beef ingredients, marinade process and seasoning package,” he said.Weng Bocheng introduced that before the establishment of the wheat mother brand, the team used to supply prepared dishes for many chain catering enterprises. “Chain restaurants need unified taste dishes, stable supply chain and fast meal delivery speed. The industrialized and standardized characteristics of prepared dishes can meet these needs, but also save labor and rent.”Supplier experience let Weng Bocheng in the prepared food consumer end to see entrepreneurial prospects.”Through customers’ orders and business contacts, we can understand consumers’ preferences for dishes. We also have supply chain resources, so we can constantly try out dishes and directly serve consumers.””Mr. Weng said.The internal demand for standardization of food and beverage is also boosting the introduction of prepared dishes in chain restaurant brands.According to a survey released by the China Chain Restaurant And Restaurant Association, 74 percent of Chain restaurants in China built their own central kitchens in 2012.When most consumers still do not know what is prepared food, the mode of “central kitchen + prepared food” has become the “kitchen standard” of many restaurants.In 2020, the epidemic stopped offline consumption of food and beverage, and catering enterprises made further efforts in the consumer market of prepared dishes.”The supply chain of the store and the consumer side of the prepared food is shared, and we believe that the degree of the restored prepared food can reach 90%.”Dishes like Babao Rice, which are easy to prepare and seasonal, will be available online first and sold in stores when the season comes.”Rituximab said.It is worth noting that compared with freshly cooked dishes, prepared dishes have higher requirements for freshness, and enterprises should also have corresponding capabilities in packaging, distribution, temperature control, supply chain and other aspects.”Frozen food needs to lock fresh technology to retain the flavor and taste of food ingredients, but the research and development cost of freezing technology is not low, for example, -196 degrees Celsius freeze fresh technology can shorten the time of 2-5 hours to 1-5 minutes, but the cost is 10 times higher than the traditional -35 degrees Celsius freeze technology.””Mr. Weng said.It is still in the early stage of development. Wu Xue described the prepared food gift box as “exceeding expectations”. “I did not expect that the ingredients were quite realistic.However, when asked if she would include prepared dishes in her daily meals, Wu said, “IT’s good to try them, but I don’t want to eat them every day. Prepared dishes are just becoming popular.According to rituximab, prefabricated food business income is close to the pine crane tower now a third of the total, “there are definitely customer expressed skepticism about the quality of the prefabricated dishes, or don’t know exactly how to processing, but consumers can pay attention to these problems, at least already have curiosity about prefabricated food, now the industry is still in the early stage of development, appear all sorts of doubts are normal”.According to Zhu Danpeng, an analyst of the food industry, there are still two pain points in the prepared food industry. “One is that there is no national standard for prepared food, and the other is that consumers’ recognition and acceptance of prepared food is not high.”Industry insiders have suggested that with the rapid development of prepared dishes, which represent the standardization of catering, “de-chefing” restaurants will become a trend.In this regard, Zhu Danpeng believes, “Prepared dishes are indeed ‘de-chefing’, but it does not mean that chefs will lose their jobs in batches. First, chefs can engage in research and development of new dishes, and second, prepared dishes do not represent the whole ecology of the catering industry. For example, commercial dinners need chefs, and the application scenario of chefs will not disappear.”To make a qualified squirrel mandarin fish at Songhe Lou, it takes 108 pieces of fish in the shape of garlic cloves with endless skin, a delicacy that can only be accomplished by a chef.”Before the Spring Festival, chefs in the suzhou branch would go to the central kitchen after work to cook semi-finished squirrel mandarin fish, which was sold in limited quantities due to limited manpower.”Rituximab said.In Luo hua’s opinion, the technological level of prepared dishes at this stage is not enough to “take away the chef’s rice bowl”.”A lot of prepared dishes that pay attention to technical details need the participation of chefs. For example, braised meat is cut by machine, which is boxy and stiff, while the chef can cut diagonally along the grain, showing different effects.In addition, not all dishes can be made into prefabricated dishes, such as vegetables and fruits test freshness, greasy eel paste eel section is easy to rot, it is difficult to achieve prefabricated at the present stage.Our own chefs, for example, are very relaxed about central kitchens and prepared dishes.”Rituximab said.That year’s dinner has been fixed in the annual “circle of friends photo contest”, by the New Year’s Eve dinner with hot prepared dishes, still triggering new discussions.Photo by Li Xuanwen, trainee reporter of China Youth Daily