It’s Friday, the perfect day for a cheeky coffee in a cafe and an inspiring read… So today I thought I would tell you a little bit more about this fun foodie game we have been playing for nearly four years now – the food bag game. Many of you will already know this game well, and some of you will be asking – what is a food bag?
The Food bag concept (or call it dinner kit, grocery bag, recipe bag)– and dinner delivery services in general – have taken the world by storm in the last decade.
The food bag (matkasse) concept originates from my native Sweden and was first introduced to the market by Middagsfridin 2007. A lovely story comes from the largest food bag companies in the world, Linas Matkasse – founded by siblings Lina Geback and Niklas Aronson. It is said that one day Aronson’s wife came home frustrated from a day of work and school pick-ups stating “I wish you could just reach out and grab a grocery bag at a red light, rather than going to the supermarket”. Entrepreneur Aronson got right on it and the company was founded in 2008.
This idea has since seen around 20 different companies enter the Swedish food bag market, each with their own niche – organic, LCHF, vegetarian – you name it! The latest statistics show that this way of grocery shopping occupies 7-10% of the Swedish grocery market. The idea has since spread globally to Europe, the UK, America and Oceania.
The concept is based on a model where grocery bags are delivered on a regular/subscription basis, directly to the consumer for simplified weeknight dinners. More often than not there is a nutritionally sound foundation to the menus, with an emphasis of a healthy balanced diet.
When we were getting ready to launch Emma’s Food Bag in early 2013 the dinner delivery services were only just making an appearance in the New Zealand marketplace.
For us, the emphasis was always a little different from anyone else’s, and we believe that we are unique in the world with our “Love Local” approach. We have maintained our niche during these three years, providing food that is mainly locally sourced, and more often than not directly from the supplier – and always freshly picked!This allows us to keep the food mileage low, and we also get to support our local community – what a win!
This concept certainly simplifies the weeknight dinner chore – there is no need for the dreaded question “What’s for dinner tonight” or rummaging around for ingredients only to find that an essential component of the meal you want is missing from the pantry. What’s more is the potential for reduced waste, with only the right amount of ingredient being supplied – so long sad packet of sushi rice sitting at the back of the cupboard, and that sad looking half cabbage from three weeks ago is no longer a feature in the chiller drawer. (That’s literally something I have experienced myself. So. Many. Times)
Personally, I think this beautiful concept meets a happy middle ground. It caters for the time-poor and the gastronomically challenged customer, but it does not go as far as pre-prepared meals that only requires heating in the microwave. It also appeals to foodies and gourmet lovers – as new exciting ideas are introduced weekly. Some culinary skills are honed and a healthy relationship with the foods that make the meals can be maintained.
At EFB, I think we have a n exciting few years ahead! The food bag and dinner kit concept, and indeed the dinner delivery service in general, is still in in its infancy here in NZ and I believe we’ll have some great times of evolution ahead with more players entering this market. If Sweden is anything to go by, this idea can only grow and grow…
As always, would love to hear your comments below – what’s your favourite thing about ordering a food bag? Is there anything preventing you from ordering? How do you think this concept has been received in NZ?