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The food market was traditionally dominated by bricks and mortar retail as well as food service stores. However, the industry is currently undergoing evolution with various food delivery methods of reaching consumers emerging. The new methods are differentiated by delivering directly to homes, or workplaces by relying on a technology enabling interface, for instance, internet. The providers in the new delivery methods are capable of capturing or adding value in various ways, for instance, they can entirely skip channels and further improve the quality of their products into a consumer-ready form. The current study identifies and examines the food market trends together with the status of the new food delivery methods in the Australian market with respect to Youfoodz in order to evaluate their commercial potential. The current study was undertaken to gain a comprehensive understanding of the new distribution options as well as inform decisions on development. The analysis is based on all the existing data and the data collected from the consumers of products from Youfoodz company. In order to further identify its internal systems and key issues, explore the company’s market potential in Australia.

Through the consumer attitude analysis, product features analysis and qualitative interview research. Focus on the core issues that affect consumer buying behavior. The recommendations of this report mainly include the promotion of brand recognition and the cultivation of positive customer relationships, consumer retention and expansion. 

Literature Review

Nowadays, food marketing and delivery methods of catering enterprises are changing from traditional purchase methods to online food delivery systems. Food delivery systems include different categories, such as online shopping, home delivery, and drive-in services (Hossain, 2000). However, human habits and preferences have evolved over the years because they have been heavily influenced by information technology. At the same time, e-commerce has been widespread, almost all human needs can be purchased through the network. Internet as a medium to carry out business activities, thus replacing the traditional business model. These innovations are designed to allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of convenience and time saving. In addition, the Internet has been extremely beneficial to the food industry, since it provides the industry with an online food ordering service, providing advantages for both business owners and customers (Çavuşoğlu, 2012). Gradually, the enterprise uses different methods to provide customers with online ordering service, the purpose is to simplify the customer ordering process. For example, they can save time and energy by creating their own websites and mobile applications (Ha DN, 2013).

Ready-Made Meals can be defined as food derived from plants or animals that has been frozen, cooked and processed before being eaten directly, or requires very short preparation time before being eaten, such as boiling or reheating. In addition, such products have become an important and ideal food for many people, especially those with busy lives, through its standards and especially its convenience (Howard et al., 2012).

Human attitudes towards ready-made food products depend on various factors. Muhammad et al. (2010) believe that there are differences in consumers’ attitudes towards food safety. It can also vary according to gender differences ready-made meal quality makes consumers strongly believe that safety is a valuable and desirable factor in their purchasing decisions to a greater extent (Klaus, 2005). Convenience can be defined as the advantage of effort and time saving gained by consumers through purchasing goods. Perceived benefits of convenience, including the reduction or elimination of meal preparation stress, especially among urban residents who are busy with their busy lifestyles and the possibility of faster preparation, are seen as unique values of ready-made foods. The universality of time scarcity makes access to food an essential element in daily life (Celnik et al., 2012). Texture, nutrition, taste, and price are factors of convenience. The ready-made food category has a strong convenience because it requires less preparation time and requires very limited skills in the preparation process to make it a good food choice for people, especially urban residents. Therefore, people acknowledge the convenience of obtaining and preparing ready-made foods, believing that these products can save them time (Costa et al., 2007). However, Celnik et al. (2012) point out that the risk of convenience is attributed to the fact that while the convenience of ready-made foods is beloved by most people, it also raises concerns about their health and long-term health effects as well as chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Nutritional attributes can be defined as a mechanism that gains consumer trust (Aschemann-Witzel& Hamm, 2010). Nutrition labels help consumers identify the exact nutrients in food or beverage and help consumers identify healthy food choices. However, in the context of ready-made foods, it is still unclear whether consumers read nutritional information to check their health properties, despite a growing awareness of their own health. In addition, consumers tend to consume specific foods only when they think the food is healthy (Garg et al., 2017).

Some factors such as high price of ready-made food, convenient access to ready-made food, and taste differences between home cooking and ready-made food were also found to hinder its consumption. The main reasons for not eating ready-made foods may be a lack of food awareness and consumer health concerns. Therefore, if consumers are aware of the availability of ready-made meal, they will tend to consume it. These mixed findings highlight that ready-made food consumers are always in a dilemma, leading to complex and unpredictable purchase decisions (Baskaran, et.al, 2017).

1.0 Company Overview

1.1 Company Background

Youfoodz is a ready-made meals food delivery company based in Brisbane, Australia, that was founded in 2012. The company not only offers more than five million meals to customers across the country but also changes the perception of the people as far as food and food delivery services are concerned. The company is on a mission to create the future of food and has been crowned for two consecutive years as the leading healthy meal delivery service by Product Review Australia, and for efficiently and effectively satisfying its customers by Canstar Blue. It is one of the biggest Australian food and beverage companies, with a large product portfolio that cuts across several categories such as meals, dairy products, snacks, and beverages, as well as pet food. Youfoodz reaches the doorsteps of its customers through an extensive home-delivery network and found in over 3,000 retail stockists throughout Australia.

1.2 Product and Service Overview

The company is a strong believer in freedom as well as challenging the status quo through offering its products and services in a different manner. This is due to the fact that the range of cold-pressed juices, and fresh meals together with the protein-packed snacks keep changing constantly. Youfoodz offers its services using the online home-delivery website alongside mobile application that allows the consumers to order various products based on their taste and preferences online such as drinks, meals, and snacks as well as meal plans among other products offered by the company. The company together with its brands have nearly 400, 000 followers who are highly engaged across the company’s social media platforms (Facebook&Instagram). An innovative in-house creative and marketing team supports Youfoodz social media platforms. Depending on the quantity of orders that a customer places with the company or their location, Youfoodz provides free shipping as an after-sale service.  The primary target of the company are people who are concerned with fitness, those that want to lose weight, gain muscle or those that are poor at managing their eating time. The company’s product concept is based on the idea of healthy eating made easy in which case the company encourages people to choose freedom by eating what they love and loving what they eat which brings happiness. More importantly, the company is revolutionizing and innovating the taste of traditional healthy meals. The food they provide is comparable to the taste of the real restaurant.

1.3 Company problems

Youfoodz is faced with a lot of challenges in its operations. One of the major problems is that the company has failed to make maximum use of the digital channels. It is important to note that like any other channel, social media marketing is also marketing. Social media marketing gathers audience that is segmented according to data and consequently selling products and services to the audience through advertising. However, Youfoodz does not seem to have mastered the dynamics of social media marketing. The company’s disappointment in the use of social media marketing is attributed to failure to design multi-pronged efforts targeted at capturing the effort of the people and at the same time advertising to them in a value-based manner (Mendenhall, 2018). Youfoodz has grown a social community that it engages with its brand, which is a significant aspect of social marketing. Nonetheless, the company ignores the reality by acting like the social media platforms were solely designed for that purpose (Mendenhall, 2018). Solving this problem will require this company to concentrate on end-to-end customer lifecycle strategy in order to use to its maximum advantage the available customer data as well as gathering information from second- and third-party sources in driving its marketing strategies (Kim, 2016).

Secondly, the way Youfoodz deals with its customers is not up to date. For instance, based on the customer feedback and reviews, it is evident that the company’s delivery srvice faces a huge challenge. The quality of the company’s delivery fails to meet the expected standards and in untimely manner. Due to poor food distribution customer retention has become a big challenge for the company as almost half of the customers rebound within six months. This implies that customer retention is even a bigger challenge for the company, which can be attributed to the failure to match the reality in terms of product quality and service delivery (Carter, 2018). This is especially the case because the delivery teams fail to incorporate customer feedback.

Lastly, there exists fierce competition in the ready-to-eat food delivery industry. Therefore, Youfoodz has to devise highly innovative and in-depth marketing strategies that will enable it to build a strong brand image as well as long-term relationship with customers. By doing so, the company will be able to meet the needs of the customers.

1.4 Compelling Service

Youfoodz conveniently provides its customers with pre-prepared meal plans that are not only healthy but also fresh by doing delivery straight to the doors of the customers. The ready-made meals that the company distributes is made using fresh, and quality produce that has no added preservatives. Also, the company provides food that is free from gluten as well as dairy-free and low-carb options. Additionally, the food can take between seven to nine days while in the fridge. According to the general manager of the company, “after experiencing sub-par meals and witnessing the industry standard at an all-time low, we decided to give it a crack because we believe Australia deserves better, fresher alternatives” (Internet Retailing, 2016). A diverse in-house team that consists of film creatives, photography, web, and design, as well as marketing and create images that are delicious and compelling to the customers. The company products and marketing are kept exciting and fun in order to attract the customers. This is done through highly effective campaigns run through various advertising modes such as radio and TV ads, online search, billboards, and pre-roll videos together with social media. More importantly, the company uses the 70/30 approach to weight loss, which does not put any food off the limits. It takes its customers into account while finding balance and healthy lifestyle.

2.0 External Analysis

2.1 Market Analysis

Most food retailers perceive ready-made meals a great opportunity to grow their sales. The foods that are partially or fully prepared are increasing solving the growing needs of the consumers who either lack the desire to prepare food, lack the time to do so, or simply lack the skills necessary to prepare food.

2.1.1 Industry Overview

The fast-food industry is rapidly growing in the digital age. The industry has largely grown from the serving ready-made meals to doorstep delivery, an expansion that has included various online or web-based categories that provide healthier food choices as opposed to the common prepackaged foods found in the frozen sections. According to Jacob (2017), the new developments have seen foods prepared by professional chefs as well as some new players on the market that are readily using the best products that can be sourced locally.

2.1.2 Market Size and Market Share

The growing market of ready-to-eat foods has seen the inception and growth of several start-ups, especially in Australia where Youfoodz is considered the leading company. According to Indig (2019), the annual compound growth rate of the food delivery market is expected to be approximately 6% between 2016 and 2022 to achieve an estimated $140 billion in terms of market size. The products of the industry are categorized based on dietary ingredients that has largely benefited from the increased demands from consumers who lack time to prepare meals in the last five years. IBISWorld (2018) reported that the popularity of vegan and non-dairy prepared foods free from gluten is expected to rise, which implies that the market has potential and is highly competitive and dynamic.

2.1.3 Industry Lifecycle

The ready-made food delivery service is rapidly changing as a result of new online platforms that are racing to acquire customers across markets in Asia, the Middle East, Americas, and Europe. Hirschberg et al. (2016) reported that the expanded choice and convenience due to the emergence of the online food-delivery platforms allows customers to order from a wide range of restaurants using the mobile phone applications. Ladd (2018) further added that Amazon drives the next big trends in food through heavy investments in its grocery strategy. As a result, the presence of meal kits sold under different brands has greatly expanded.

2.1.4 Market Challenges

The rapid changes in the world pushes companies to change according to the demands of the customers since everyone seeks cost-efficiency, fast speed, and easy accessibility (Witts, 2016). However, the ready-made meals delivery market is faced with challenges of wavering customer loyalty since fidelity is important to customers whose success mantra lies in the concept of “the more the merrier” (Jungleworks, 2019). Fluctuating price models due to the fierce competition in the food delivery market is a huge challenge forcing small businesses and local sellers into playing at lower margins compared to big names in the market. This is coupled with the arrival of big names such Amazon Restaurant, and UberEats among others that are attracted by the huge potential in the food delivery market. Also, the inability to cope with large operations and logistics concerned with delivery of online orders interrupts walk-in orders once a business grows prominent (Jungleworks, 2019). 

2.2 Market Segments and Market Potential

Market segmentation involves breaking down the group of people that a business identifies as its potential customers into smaller groups. Due to the popularity of the ready-made foods offered by companies such as Youfoodz, it appeals to various segments, which the company has to identify, and group accordingly based on their similarities. Markets can be segmented by geographic regions, product or service needs, and through sensitivity to price among other factors. However, ready-made food market is segmented based on the process used to produce them and packaging, in which case there are three segments of chilled food, and canned food, as well as frozen food. The major drivers of the market are not specific to Australia where Youfoodz is based, or any other region, but globally affect the market. As a result, the ready-to-eat food products market has witnessed rapid growth rate to become the largest global market in the food industry. The market potential is huge because there are various sub sectors that constitute the frozen food retail consisting of numerous market players. The business is entirely different across sectors with varying levels of risks as well as opportunities for specific sub sectors and products.

2.3 Porter Five Forces Analysis

There is highly competitive rivalry facing Youfoodz because the industry is growing rapidly, and the customers can easily switch to other companies that offer cheaper prices. The suppliers have a low bargaining power since they do not control the prices of the company’s product. The customers of Youfoodz have low bargaining power because the company’s products are highly differentiated from its competitors. Youfoodz faces high risk of threats posed by new entrants which can deplete the market share. Lastly, the threat of substitute products and services for Youfoodz is high because it has various competitors that offer the same products and services. Moreover, many competitors began to innovate new products to cater to more consumer groups in order to enhance their competitiveness.

2.4 Current and Potential Customer of Youfoodz company

2.4.1 Targeting Customers

The dynamic nature of the retail food industry and the fierce competition has led to increased customer turnover, which reduces the profit margins. Therefore, Youfoodz targets customers from the whole of Australia as opposed to just Sydney in order to enhance its profit margins. The primary success factor in the sector is a comprehensive understanding of the market structure and selectively targeting the opportunities for growth of profits through development of a framework for segmentation depending on the strengths of the company (Howarth, 2017).

2.4.2 Customer Motivation

Youfoodz motivates its customers by seeking to surprise them by making them part of the company’s journey in the creation of the meals. By doing so, the customers are put at the center of the company’s production process, which makes Youfoodz an outstanding company (Howard, 2018). This is coupled with a series of behind-the-scenes content together with interactive hotspots allowing the customers to become part of the online virtual as well as across social media (Internet Retailing, 2017).

2.5 Competition

According to Owler (2019), Youfoodz faces fierce competition in Australia mainly from Factor 75, which is believed to be its biggest rival having been founded in 2011 and also specializes in food processing. Freshly, which was founded in 2013, is another major competitor to Youfoodz in the Australian ready-made food market. While Freshly has more employees than Youfoodz, the latter has more employees than Factor 75. The rival is of Youfoodz is Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine, a privately-owned company that was started in 2003. 

3.0 Theoretical Analysis

Analyzing the key competitors of a business is a significant aspect prior to entry to a market that has a high growth potential. Analyzing the main players in the ready-made food market allows Youfoodz to clearly understand the marketplace, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the main rivals (Radojevic, Stanisic, and Stanic, 2015). As such, it plays a significant role in the way Youfoodz shapes its marketing strategies to ensure maximum profits. The current major competitors in the ready-made food industry are increasingly adopting the same assets as well as competencies that enable them to compete in the emerging but highly competitive industry. The current ready-made food emphasizes on fast, and fresh products that are friendly to all types of diets such as vegan and gluten free, offered at affordable prices (Wellard et al., 2017). 

SWOT analysis 

Based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, consumers attracted to the new online food-delivery platforms depict different sets of needs as well as expectations that are contrary to the traditional norms. The consumers’ buyer behavior majorly revolves around the platforms and time. The new delivery platforms store relevant data of the customers in order to personalize their ordering experience. Consequently, the platforms are sticky and retains more than three quarters of the customers upon signing up (Hirschberg et al., 2016). Therefore, a strong winner-take-all dynamic is created such that the player capable of signing up the most customers within the shortest duration gets the most rewards. From the comprehensive theory perspective, speed and safety of delivery is a significant aspect in customer satisfaction. Customers can only wait up to a maximum of one hour. However, the weekends are a motivational factor among customers who tend to place more orders. The company thus experience online highest-volume days between Friday and Sunday that sees placement of approximately three-quarter orders.

Positioning based marketing theory refers to the position of a product in the market and the degree of differentiation from other products in the minds of customers. Youfoodz company uses convenient, healthy food, and benefits targeting. The problem is that Youfoodz has created ready-made meals delivery service for the specific group of people who have little change in their dietary planning and convenience solutions. These products cater to both their healthy eating needs and their fitness (weight loss) community. Rich in protein and low in calories, as the label on the product package shows, offer consumers many health benefits. The company aims to satisfy consumers’ tastes as well as their nutritional needs. Meanwhile, highlight the more convenient features by purchasing a home delivery service online.

Such products require a low-involvement, transformational brand attitude. The risk of purchase is shallow, as long as the simple try and experience are enough to attract customers, because they taste delicious, save the preparation time of the food, it is a breakthrough of a traditional healthy diet (Whitby, 2018). Therefore, utilizing information transmission and marketing, consumers can easily perceive the features and advantages of products and encourage them to try and taste them. Youfoodz’s goal is to provide quality and efficient food to a growing number of healthy eaters.

Perceptual map: 

4.0 Research Methodology

Qualitative research methods are used in this project because it provides a more in-depth textual description of how people experience in a given research topic. Through the sampling of views interviewed, exchange of views with interviewers to identify the limitations and advantages of enterprise products and services. Moreover, help identify the potential of its market.

By using this survey method, more persuasive and convincing information can be collected than the data collected through quantitative research methods. (Creswell, 2012). Collecting research data through in-depth interviews enables more natural and positive personal interaction with interviewees in preferred language and terminology. Besides, this approach helps to collect more accurate and intuitive data, because all communication is first-hand and based entirely on personal experience and direct ideas. 

4.1 Objective for project and implementation

The project has three core objectives.

  1. To understand consumers’ awareness of Youfoodz company and ready-made meals delivery services.

In this project, brand recognition represents the malleability of its market. It also determines the reliability of the project to a certain extent. Preliminary research (interviews) can be used to assess consumer preferences and interest in Youfooz product. At the same time, it is also a preliminary conclusion of the marketing role of the company at this stage, to determine whether the need to strengthen digital advertising and other marketing methods to improve the brand awareness.

  1. Analyze the main reasons and attributes for consumers to purchase products and services.

Based on the diversity of factors that affect consumer purchase decisions. The characteristics of the products and services provided by this company. Identify the factors which can best stimulate consumers to purchase decisions, such as online order delivery services, time-saving and convenient, reasonable food nutrition combination and so on. These characteristics play an important role of identifying the company’s potential in the marketplace.

  1. Evaluate consumers’ motivations and concerns for choosing the products and services.

By analyzing the functions and strengths and weaknesses of “Youfoodz” products and services, it helps to analyze the main resistance of the company’s development in the market. Determine the motivations consumers buy or will buy, and primarily analyze the core issues of why consumers refuse to buy products. Such research can trade-off the strengths and weaknesses of its products and understand the scalability of its market. Help decide whether to improve the product and solve major problems within the company.

4.2 Interview – Qualitative Research

Through prior consultation, interviews were conducted in participants’ homes, at the university of technology, Sydney or in public places such as local community centers. Participants include friends, classmates, and people with no relationship to the researcher. The focus of this study was not to criticize their eating and lifestyle habits, but rather to develop theme-based communication to explore the interests and potential perspectives of the research topic.

The interview follows a semi-structured guide to interview topics, most of which are open-ended questions. In addition, some questions will be expanded and developed as the research progresses, based on participants’ answers in interviews. The feedback from the interview results will show the major issues and viewpoints about Youfooz company and its products. Then, recognize some key themes through comparison (seeking common ground while reserving differences).

All interviews were recorded, noted, and anonymous. The interview guide does not serve as a structured questionnaire, but it contains the discussion topics covered in the interview (see appendix 1: Interview topic guide). The interview with each participant average lasted about 10 to 20 minutes which are not limited to specific questions, and respondents are guided in real-time. A total of 12 adults to participate in the interview data collection; two of the participants left after the first meeting, leaving valid data on 10 participants for analysis. Table 1 shows the basic characteristics of the participants. 

Table 1. Characteristics of interview participants

Referring to table 1, we can find that only three respondents have known or bought Youfoodz products, one through ads on social platforms, and the other two are recommended by friends and fitness coach (W-O-M). Therefore, we can preliminarily conclude that the awareness of this company is quite low. In addition, respondents were gender balanced, aged between 24 and 35, and the potential association between these attribute and motivational needs could be understand by asking about their weight and their fitness habits. In general, people with fitness habits and weight control concepts are more inclined to perchase this healthy food.

4.3 Findings and analysis

Through the information analysis, found that all the participants answer appeared different keywords. however, there has a strong consistency on some issues. The differences in living habits between men and women represent some interesting phenomena. Also, there are significant differences of attitudes and needs between students and working groups (see table 2 and 3). 

Table 2: Differences in eating habits between men and women 

According to the information summarized in Table 2, it can be found that male, especially single male is more likely to eat out because preparing foods and cooking is time-consuming. And they do not pay much attention to nutrient considerations. In other words, men choose to buy the products (Youfoodz) mainly because of the efficiency, time saving and satiety. However, women cook more frequently because they have more control over the ingredients, and the nutritional mix of each meal is important to them. In addition, women pay more attention to the management of their bodies. This shows that although there are great differences in the demand for Youfoodz between men and women, both can constitute an incentive to buy ready-made meals. 

Table 3: Differences in eating habits between student and employee

Referring to table 3 indicates that according to the usual eating habits and income factors, students can accept the price of Youfoodz healthy meal at less than $10. However, on-the-job employees can accept a relatively high range of pricing, which can be more than $10. Therefore, both groups can accept the pricing of yourfoodz products. The price factor does not constitute a consumption impact. In addition, students are not subject to strict time control, under normal circumstances, the time to eat is relatively free. However, due to commuting to and from work, office workers have stricter requirements on mealtimes, so they believe that it is important to shorten the time to buy and eat a meal.

This information can further understand the different needs of different groups of people. It can be explained that students are paying more attention to product nutrition planning (which is also related to age), while during daily office hours, employees are more likely to consider other factors such as time consumption and convenient feature of the product. In other words, there is a possibility and incentive for both groups to buy Youdoodz products and its online order delivery service.

Table 4 Main themes of the interview

Table 4 above describes the key themes that emerged throughout the interview. Depending on how fresh the food is (fresh), whether it is healthy (safe), the time it takes to buy, eat and cook (convenient), and the need to balance the ingredients (nutrition). So as to more clearly identify the four key categories of consumer concern and purchase motivation. These categories are formed under the influence of the personal living environment, habits, and other factors. The relationship between these categories can be further explored below.

The following is a detailed description of each theme:

Fresh

For most participants, their consideration of the freshness of food provided a key personal concern for Ready-Made meals delivery services. For example, some female students at school realize that their situation as students studying abroad, in order not to worry their parents, their responsibility is to provide meals for themselves, especially those that are fresh and nutritious. To some extent, a good diet can help students learn better and reduce their mental stress. The psychological cues are persistent. In addition, most female express their love of vegetables. So, they worry that the vegetables in such a meal will not be fresh.

“Well, it’s really convenient, but when you say it can be refrigerated for about a month, I’m worried that the vegetables will become stale. And in the delivery process, especially in the hot summer, it should go bad very quickly…” PARTICIPANT 1 

“If I order the amount of food in a week and store it in the refrigerator, the vegetables will definitely become fresh, I think…” PARTICIPANT 2 

Safety

Based on the interview, three respondents who have purchased the company’s products and services, most of their information is related to the safety of delivery service process. Two of the participants said the accuracy and efficiency of the delivery service was important because their purchase and delivery experiences were displeasure. This directly led them to give up the intention to buy again. In addition, the other five participants were concerned about whether the raw materials were safe and harmless, especially if they were stored in the refrigerator for a long time, whether the food spoiled or affected the taste. Most of them are showed mistrust of the ready-made meals and the delivery service.

“If all the ingredients are pre-prepared, I would be concerned about where the raw material comes from and whether it is safe, but if the meal is made by myself and all the ingredients are purchased and made on the same day, I would be more comfortable. Although it takes time…” PARTICIPANT 3  

“I made a purchase about half a year ago, and the online booking process was very positive. But I didn’t get any phone calls or text messages on the day of delivery… I searched around the neighborhood for nearly an hour and finally found that the delivery time had been temporarily changed… I was very angry and disappointed…” PARTICIPANT 8 

“Delivered packages are placed directly in public areas, not delivered face to face… It made me worry that the package would be taken away by strangers.” PARTICIPANT 4 

Convenient

According to the interview, convenience is the most important reason that affects consumers’ purchasing decisions. Many respondents see convenience as one of the benefits of ordering delivery services online. In addition, a part of participants realized that they were not naturally interested in cooking or would reject the activity to varying degrees. In general, especially male respondents, the time consumption of meals is considered more. Moreover, office workers will praise the company’s products, whether it is purchased in the supermarket or brought to work from home. By ordering this service, they can have a meal in three minutes which is efficient. Especially in the case of busy working hours, it will waste a lot of time to order takeaway or go to a restaurant for dinner (it usually takes half an hour to an hour), and occasionally there will be no time to eat.

“Well, I don’t like cooking… In fact, I hardly ever cook at home… So, if I eat at home, it’s inevitably a junk food meal… It’s not healthy but it saves time…” PARTICIPANT 6 

“Usually y at work, I almost eat near the company… Not very good and expensive… In many cases, I will be too busy to eat, because the whole process takes a lot of time…” PARTICIPANT 5 

“Wow, this product is really suitable for me. If I am busy at work, I can cook a healthy meal in the microwave for a few minutes. …This is good.” PARTICIPANT 10

Nutrition

An important reason why consumers are willing to buy Youfoodz products is the nutritional composition of the food provided. Food-related factors can also be factors that stimulate purchase. Some respondents said that if they were under weight control, they would consider the amount of protein in each meal, as well as a reasonable mix of meat and vegetables.

In addition, some respondents indicated their preferences for food categories, such as beef and chicken, while others preferred fish and seafood. Therefore, what they expect is to be able to choose and match different food categories according to their preferences. Based on the design of yourfoodz product, it advocates a reasonable nutritional plan and improves the shortcomings of traditional healthy meals. In other words, the combination of nutrition and flavor may be different from other brands, which directly attracts the consumers who need it.

“Wow, it’s so high in protein…It really solved one of my big problems…During the fat reduction period, I always eat boiled chicken breast, which is really hard to swallow.” PARTICIPANT 4 

“But I usually like to eat fish and seafood, it is mostly beef and chicken…So I might not buy it.

And I like spicy food…” PARTICIPANT 7 

“Can I choose my own food category? I mean, I like beef with broccoli, or pork with green peppers…” PARTICIPANT 6 

4.3.1 Main finding

Interviews are conducted with adults from different social backgrounds to provide insight into their habits, experience, and views on ready-made meal food and Youfooz products and services.

Although the knowledge building and impact dissemination of foods such as ready-made meal is not very sufficient, most people have developed a curiosity, relative recognition, and expectation of the products. To a large extent, many participants want to be able to prepare healthier meals safely and quickly.

The research highlighted the different requirements of different segmentations for a ready-made meal delivery service. Its overall themes can be divided into two categories: personal motivation, such as body management (fitness lifestyle) and nutritional health care; and the impact of other factors, such as the quality of delivery services and the feature of convenience. The various factors are interrelated and cannot be analyzed in isolation. Because in the consumer’s purchase decision process, all the variables of the product will be systematically evaluated.

The research identified psychological conflicts among consumers about ready-made meals and its delivery service. In other words, consumers have expectations and curiosity about this form of healthy food because it contains features that are both convenient and satisfying nutritional needs. It is perfect for fitness people and people interested in fitness. Moreover, the general population who prefer low-calorie and high-protein diets will also have an impulse to buy. In addition, the findings confirm the major issues related to the company’s delivery services, which have been recognized by previous secondary studies.

Furthermore, when asked about the market potential of the company and its products, most of the respondents expressed a positive attitude. Nowadays, the establishment of a healthy life consciousness is constantly spread and recognized, and a healthy and nutritious diet is playing an essential role in peoples’ life. This leads to a two-way interaction between exercise and diet. Especially for fitness people, their health awareness is particularly strong; they have a greater demand for such products. In busy city life, ready-made meals prevent them from spending too much time preparing food.

Generally, most of the traditional healthy meals are not delicious, because the ingredients are mainly required clean, low in fat, and high in protein. Which means basically all the ingredients are boiled, less seasoned, and eating is like completing a task. Therefore, Youfoodz can help solve this problem by turning traditional healthy meals into a taste that rivals the restaurant, which is a unique selling point that distinguishes it from other competitors. This is a noteworthy feature that will appeal to consumers in the future.

More importantly, consumers could recognize the convenience of the product, along with essential nutrients. Therefore, the brand can be aimed at a wider range of people, not only fitness-conscious people, but also students, commuters, solitary residents, and other people who need to save time and costs.

However, the valuable finding of this interview is that most consumers would concern about the product, due to the shortcoming of delivery services in Youfoodz company, as well as the guarantee of food freshness. Although such products are low involvement products, the main factors that determine whether consumers will buy again depend on consumers’ satisfaction with the buying experience and after-sales service (consumer’s buying experience). Maximizing customer retention is critical to any business. Otherwise consumers will easily switch to the competitive brands. 

4.3.2 Limitations and Strengths

The research, from participants with narrow sociodemographic backgrounds, focused on specific subgroups. Such interviews and studies do not sufficiently highlight the cross-cutting nature of the key themes that run through the demographic spectrum of society as a whole. The fundamental purpose of this project research is to explore the development potential of ready-made meals delivery service in Australia.  However, all participants who are students and workers in Sydney, Australia, their views may not be more broadly summed up across Australia. The limitation of this research is that it can only make a general analysis of the whole market through the focus of some specific groups as far as possible.

However, some of the findings of the interview reflect previous studies that emphasize the importance of factors such as nutrition, food safety, convenience, and behavioral changes at crucial transaction points in life. The topic guide for this interview was prompted by recent determinants of ready-made meal delivery service and product. The guide likely promotes consideration of a wide range of relevant issues, and the use of open questions ensures that affluent, vivid, and detailed information data is generated. This interview research is carried out to achieve theme establishment and saturation, and there is no overall difference between the key themes identified in a single interview and those in which other participants were also present. 

5.0 Recommendation

Based on the main issues and influencing factors analyzed above, I generate three recommendation strategies:

  1. Cooperate will well-known fitness studios (offline strategy)

Regarding the research findings, it recognizes that people with fitness habits are more likely to be attracted to the product. Therefore, people who focus on health and want a balance of nutrition, flavor from ready-made meals are the primary target audience.  Because Youfoodz products are mainly low in calories and high in protein. As a result, for people who pursue fitness, they usually have more awareness of food safety and pay more attention to health issues. Besides, most modern people are busy working, studying, and living a tight life, which allows them to shorten the food preparation time and save energy. Eating Youfoodzs’ heathy meals is a convenient way to meet their daily nutritional needs. (Poster campaign see appendix)

Thus, for this consumer group, I recommend that Youfoodz company can cooperate with the famous local gym or the fitness community. According to the needs of fitness customers (muscle gain/fat loss), provide them the comprehensive and reasonable diet plan services.

The purpose of this strategy is to benefit directly from the fitness organization’s customers base. Due to the general primary fitness person to the diet balance understanding is not very correct.

Professional fitness coaches can convey the health and science diet knowledge to the clients. This type of promotion is also more easily accepted by customers.

The concrete implementation of this proposal can be carried out in the form of poster publicity. For example, posters can be placed in front of fitness centers, universities, or traffic arteries. Attract consumers to increase brand exposure. In this way, a tripartite mutually beneficial relationship system can be formed. It can also establish a long-term and deepening development relationship with consumers. In the end, we can get a loyal consumer group.

2.Digital Marketing Program – Social media (online strategy)

Data from both primary and secondary studies show that consumers of Youfoodz have lower awareness. The reason is inseparable from the implementation of the digital marketing strategy.

The survey found that the company’s social media attention is less, especially the operation of the Youtube platform. Among the different social channels with a large number of participants, the use of YouTube is now the most popular online video community in the world, allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share original video content. In order to enhance brand recognition, YouTube’s self-media and marketing procedures cannot be ignored.

Regarding target the potential consumers, I recommend that youfoodz can sponsor the influential fitness YouTuber to help it promote its products to enhance the brand awareness, also to make consumers more confident in the value of the product. For example, in a video released by a fitness influncer with millions of fans, Youfoodz’s meals appear actively recommending benefits from this product, putting product links and discount codes below the video, as well as the information of Youfoodzs’ others social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram). For example, viewers can use special discount codes to buy products on the Youfoodzs’ official website. This way can effectively stimulate audiences, let them willing to order and try. Based on trust in influencer, this product will also be trusted.

The dissemination of visual information is often more vivid and can stimulate consumers’ desire to buy, especially a product that is beneficial to health. On their channels, Youfoodz needs high-frequency production of the short video campaign. For example, the introduction of the product, how/why to eat, and storage of new products or more interesting video design to attract the attention of audiences.

I suggest YouTube’s video release cycle once a week (every Saturday or Sunday) and the entire social media marketing program lasts between 3 and 6 months. I believe that as the number of channel subscriptions increases, product sales will also increase steadily.

  1. Customized product & improving the quality of delivery service (CRM strategy)

According to the interview data, individual’s taste preferences are different, and some customers also have special requirements for food collocation. As the market competition of ready-made meals delivery service is becoming more and more intense, it is imperative to stabilize the dominant position of Youfoodz company in the market by create a unique sales proposition or unique point of sale (USP), this concept refers to any element or aspect of an object or service that distinguishes it from competition and highlights its unique interests to consumers. Establishing a USP can effectively help companies identify marketing goals and successfully differentiate their brands and products from their competitors. This is often an integral part of the company’s brand strategy, which helps the brand maintain an unforgettable state and create a positive impression in the eyes of consumers (Corrign, 2019).

Therefore, I suggest innovating and optimizing the online order website and mobile application systems of Youfoodz company. In order to distinguish from competitors, increasing their USP is an essential strategy to improve brand recognition. As a result, the company’s website and mobile apps can design more specific food matching services. That is, consumers can according to their own individual needs, different preferences for meat, staple food, and vegetables, etc., choose their collocation to produce a combo. Then, company according to the consumer’s independent collocation to produce a unique meal, so as to generate personalized customization services. This strategy is not only suitable for the nutrient needs of fitness people, but the potential consumer can also be attracted. However, this strategy is a great breakthrough and challenge for the company. That means the entire service system has to be revamped and upgraded. Therefore, it requires a high investment of human resources which is a long-term design and implementation process

Importantly, on the other hand, WOM plays an important role in consumer purchasing decision making process. Customer retention is also crucial for business development. Potential customers will refuse to buy their products by browsing through websites with bad ratings and negative purchase feedback. While, previous surveys and interviews have shown that youfoodz’s delivery and customer feedback service quality is grossly inadequate. This will lead to the loss of primary consumers. It can also undermine the first impressions of potential consumers. Thus, it is essential to collect consumer feedback and solve the problems efficiently. This is at the heart of enhancing the consumer buying experience and fostering long-term customer relationships.

When the customer experience and delivery service are improved, customer satisfaction will increase. As a result, positive evaluation after the customer purchases the product will directly affect other potential customers to purchase.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this report analyzes the internal and external market environment of ready-made meals delivery service in Australia. And its future development problems, potential and opportunities. Mainly through the qualitative research way of face-to-face interview to analyze the attitude and expectation of consumers living in Australia to Youfoodz products and the industry. Its advantages and disadvantages are identified from many factors.

For the current development situation of Youfoodz company and the strong competitive trend of the whole ready-made meals delivery service. In order to expand its development in Australia, the primary and essential task is to enhance consumer recognition and acceptance of ready-made meals products. Also, allay consumer concerns about such products. Then through the reasonable and effective strategies of marketing, it may ultimately win the trust of consumers and cultivate loyal long-term customer relationship. Overall, the development potential of ready-made meals delivery service in Australia is considerable, which is in line with the development trend of modern fast-paced life. The ready-made meals delivery service is the sustainable product that can not only meet the convenient needs, but also meet the nutritional needs of people.

 

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