According to Mintel’s report of China Consumer Trends for 2018, Chinese consumers, especially the young generation, are adapting themselves to the fast lifestyle, social and economic changes. Technological development enables and accelerates this kind of adaptation. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, a large number of new programmes and algorithms have been developed to help companies analyze consumers’ browsing preference and their buying behaviors so that the recommendation could be more personalized and for consumers, the shopping experience is somehow more customized.
The fast development of technology created a large virtual world online for Chinese consumers in which people are more liberated in choosing with whom they want to communicate. Online virtual world opens a brand new realm in which young generations can relieve their daily stress and engage with people around them to connect themselves with the outside world. Compared with the real world, virtual world is less rigid and more informal. Thus, young generations are looking forward to exploring novel and more playful ways to entertain themselves online. As shown in Mintel’s survey, 63% of 20-24-year-olds play online games to relive stress, and 24% do so to make friends. So it’s obvious that stress relief and social connection are two of the buzz words in 2018.
Going green may serve as another word of 2018. Chinese consumers’ awareness of the environment are increasing as the climate change and environmental crisis are too prominent to ignore. Consumers in China now want products which not only help them to become healthier inside but also contributes to the well-being of the environment outside. People are even willing to pay a little bit more to purchase ethical brands to make themselves feel good.
Food is one of the rigid demand of human beings. Especially in Chinese culture, food serves as the first priority. There is an ancient saying that goes “Dinning counts most for people”. Moreover, in China, people usually sit around the table and use chopsticks to share the food. The dishes on table is not simply things to eat, more importantly, they somehow serve as certain bonds that hold the people close together. Chopsticks is For some traditional Chinese family, the procedure of cooking could be relaxing and fun. All family members come into the kitchen after work or school to help with the preparation and share their daily stories. Eating is an integral part in Chinese culture.
Nowadays, a lot of people move to big cities to make a living because there they can earn more to support their families. And a great number of college graduates also choose to stay in or move to big cities for better career prospects. Take Shanghai as an example, up to March 2018, there are altogether 4.63 million registered migrant workers, among them 37.8 percent hold college degree or above. However, life in first-tier cities are not as fancy as it may sound like, especially for migrant workers. Most of the time they simply rent a room in a shared flat and what is common is that even after one or two years, they don’t know their flatmates at all. They really often feel lonely and isolated in such big cities, not to mention the work-related stress they face on a daily basis.
Also, Shanghai Foreign Service (Group) is a company who publishes Whitepaper for Health of White Collar Workers in Shanghai every year. According to their whitepaper in 2018, the overall health condition of white collar workers in Shanghai had been worsening during the past five years. Top two health problems they suffer are overweight and fatty liver. Around 36.9 percent white collar workers in Shanghai are overweight due to high stress at work, unhealthy diet and lack of sports. Another 33.7 percent suffer from fatty liver due to long-term imbalanced diet. What’s more, as stated in the whitepaper, white collar workers in Shanghai are aware of health management and are trying to do something to manage their health, but the results are not so satisfying because they don’t have scientific and systematic methods and unfortunatrly, most of the time they cannot stick to their health management plans.
That’s how the idea of iCook came into our mind. It is inspired by the facts and data, aiming to bring people back to kitchen, to help people make connections in the real world, to help them go green and to live a better life.
A Brief Review of the PESTLE Analysis
Based on the idea of iCook, PESTLE Analysis has been done to examine its profitability potential and its feasibility.
Politically, there are positive force that accelerates the establishment and enforcement of relevant policies. The general environment in Chinese market highly values innovation boosted by the synergy between virtual economy and real economy nowadays.
Economically, the market size of online food delivery is huge and still increasing. Chinese consumers adapt really fast to mobile pay and online shopping. Moreover, an increasing number of consumers are switching to greener products or services.
Socially, as previously mentioned, food is necessity for human beings. The fast-developing food delivery industry targets mainly at students and white collar workers. Also, such delivery service meets the demand of lazy people and busy people.
Technologically, it won’t be difficult to put what we devised for iCook into practice because China has witnessed a lot of major technological break-throughs in the past five years and there are already mature big data algorithms to facilitate intelligent delivery and intelligent tracking system, take Meituan app, one of the biggest Chinese online food ordering app, as an example, customers can track the status of their order. For example, if the order is accepted by the restaurant, it would show “accepted, being prepared by the restaurant”, and then when it’s almost down, it will show “deliverer assigned, on the way to the restaurant”. Once the deliverer gets the food package, the app will show “being delivered” and there is a map that shows the route of the deliverer, his contact information and estimated waiting time. If the actually waiting time exceeds the estimated waiting time, the price of the food package will be discounted. Another thing that stimulates the rapid development of online food delivery service is that all major apps cooperate with third party payment platform like Alipay, Wechat Pay, Union Pay, etc. This makes the online ordering experience so much easier. People can pay with just a click and their fingerprint or password, paying takes only few seconds. 。。。
Legally, although food delivery industry is a relatively new industry in China, standards governing food delivery service (T/CCPITC-SC007—2017) have already been set up in 2017 and has been implemented from Sept. 1st, 2017. Besides, depending on the different penetration level of food delivery service in different cities, there are a lot of local regulations set up by different municipal governments to follow as well. And these regulations are constantly being reviewed and amended to make sure that they are in accordance with the current Food Safety Law in China. Uniform employment laws? 2018.1.1
Ecologically, current consumer trends has shown people’s demand of greener life and waste minimization. Moreover, it can be seen from the business world that awareness of corporate social responsibility has been increasing overall. 例子？
Based on research, it has been found out that till the end of 2017, number of mobile netizens in China nearly doubled from 420 million in 2012 to 753 million in 2017. Among them 40 percent have at least used online food ordering app once. The market size of food delivery service in China is gigantic. It increased by 512 percent from 33.55 billion CNY (5.01 billion USD) in 2012 to 205.27 billion CNY (30.64 billion USD) in 2017. Among all the users of food delivery app, 54 percent are less than 25 years old and 25 percent are aged between 25 to 30 years old. And the food delivery market has been dominated by white collar workers who take up 82.7 percent of the market. The remaining 17.3 percent is built up by students and families. Thus, three target groups have been chosen, namely white collar workers, dual earner families and foreigners living in China.
White collar workers are selected as major target group because they took up the biggest portion of food delivery market segmentation. What’s more, they have higher purchasing power compared with students and are well-aware of the significance of health management.
Dual earner families are chosen as well. Due to the one-child policy in 1980s in China, a lot of babies born at that time grew up being spoiled and when two of them set up a family, neither knows much about cooking. And both of them think that buying groceries for cooking is such a time-consuming task. So what they always do is dine in the restaurant or order food online. With iCook, they could easily make delicious meals and enjoying the procedure together. When people find out that they can cook delicious food by themselves, they become more motivated and are more interested in cooking.
Last but not the least, foreigners living in China serve as a niche market. With iCook they can have wonderful experience cooking Chinese dishes by themselves. And an outstanding advantage of iCook is that it will have the user’s allergic information in his or her personal profile so when ordering dishes the app will automatically filter out the dishes with ingredients that the user is allergic to. Not so many food delivery app take this into consideration yet.
iCook is a recipe box food delivery service targeting at Chinese market delivering already prepared ingredients perfect for a meal ready to be cooked, whenever, wherever!
– Local, organic source
The ingredients used in the recipe box will be sourced from local organic farms in cooperation. Standards are to be set to control the high quality of the ingredients and a rating system would be established to constantly review the status of the local farms. It may also be possible that in the future information can be found in the iCook app and customers can trace the origin of the ingredients they got and get to know the story of the farm by browsing the info page while ordering.
– Nutritionist approved, chef collaborated
All meal sets would be jointly developed by nutritionists and chefs to make sure that the final product is not only healthy but also tasty. Cooking guide and nutrition facts for every meal set would be sent to customers once they finishes the order so that even green hands can cook a delicious meal.
– Crowdsourcing & communities
The idea is to build up a community in the app where users can share their cooking stories and network with each other.
– Personal profile, extensive in-app filters
– Cooperation with cookware/equipment manufacturers
– Calorie specification, cooperation with external fitness apps
– Languages setup, foreigner friendly
The logo of iCook, as shown in Fig.1, consists of three parts. The most obvious part is a lip, which symbolizes the most basic need of human beings – eat. The red color and the heart in the middle of the lip represents passion and longing for good food. The second part of the logo is a small scooter with a deliverer sitting on it. This is supposed to add some dynamic feeling to the logo, meaning that all kinds of tasty food could be delivered to the customer. The last part is the brand name in Chinese and in English, they are well-translated and express the core idea of our product in both languages.
The brand name is “iCook”. In English it means “cooked by me” which reflects the product feature—that you can enjoy the procedure of cooking and be your own chef. Besides, the pronunciation of the letter “i” sounds like “love” in Chinese, which is the reason why it’s Chinese name has been translated into “爱下厨”, meaning “love to cook in kitchen”.
– Containers provided by customers, e.g. Glasslock/Tupperware box sets
– Natural degradable packaging
– Tailored according to customer demand (e.g. dinner for one, party set, etc.)
– Personal profile can be created upon registration
– Subscription service available
– Delivery time and place could be personalized
For users the APP it’s for free
For third-party cooperators, commission fee is charged
in cooperation with kitchenware/equipment company
in shopping mall/office buildings
sponsor events???/food festival?
– Different themes according to festivals (domestic & exotic) (e.g. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Dragon Boat Festival, …)