On average, we only know how to cook six recipes. This limited culinary rotation isn’t down to a lack of desire but because people can’t find the time to try something new. After a busy workday, it’s much more convenient to cook what you know.
A mealbox allows you to become a master chef without the hassle. No more flicking through recipe books or searching the aisles of your local deli for organic black cumin seeds. All the ingredients you need arrive fresh at the doorstep.
But many mealbox options just aren’t convenient. There are subscriptions to sign up for and it can take days to receive recipes. For the wannabe cooking aficionado, who needs quality, convenience and the flexibility to choose tomorrow night’s dinner, a new approach is required.
Picnic delivers fresh groceries with next day delivery in a 20-minute window. We started with this proposition and worked backwards to create Presto: Picnic’s mealbox solution.
Fast evolution of ideas
There’s always a lot of hypothesis about what works and what doesn’t. But the only way to find out is to test. That’s the beauty of projects at Picnic. We run pilots and test ideas to learn on the go.
Presto started as a brown bag with the ingredients and a recipe sheet inside. In March 2018, we ran our first pilot with 10,000 customers. Since then, there have been several pilots and each time we learnt how to make improvements.
Customer insights led us to completely review the recipe descriptions and develop our branding. Because we tested our product at an early stage and continuously ran improvements, we’ve been able to quickly develop and create a great product. But our projects are never finished and we’ll keep improving on the go.
Recipe development: include the suppliers
There are 3,000 types of cultivated tomato. But only one will give the optimal flavour to a certain dish. When we develop recipes it’s important to think about the season, what products are best when and the taste and sensation that we want our customers to experience.
We ran sessions with all our suppliers. They offered their expertise and advice on how to bring out the best flavours of different ingredients, like meat, fish or vegetables, and how the components of a recipe affect one and other.
Our suppliers are the experts of their produce. By including them in the recipe development process, they take ownership of the project and each ingredient combines to create a wonderful taste and a delicious dish. Thanks to them, we now have more than 20 fantastic recipes to share with our customers.
Keep every ingredient fresh
When a customer opens a mealbox the ingredients are fresh. But that presents a logistical challenge. We studied the supply chain to find the best moment to pack ingredients.
Nowadays the packaging of meat and fish allow products to remain fresh for longer. On the other hand, as soon vegetables are cut their freshness decreases. To stick to the Picnic proposition, it’s essential to minimise the time from cutting to delivery.
Our suppliers deliver their products to the vegetable supplier. In the morning they cut everything to exact measurements and pack all of the ingredients together. By 3 p.m. the mealboxes are at Picnic’s distribution centre and making their way to our customers.
Presto: the importance of branding
A great brand indicates the quality of Picnic. It adds to the customer experience and justifies the perception of quality. Fortunately, we have a fantastic design team. They got to the task of creating a recognisable and elegant mealbox brand.
So, when a customer opens a Presto package, they don’t just think about that evening’s dinner but they feel like they’ve just received a gift.
Presto will roll out to our 275,000 customers in the coming weeks. There’s still room for improvement and we greatly value customer opinion. With regular surveys and 1-on-1 chats, we find out what to change. And the lines are always open with the Customer Success team, giving us a constant stream of feedback.
It’s interesting to see how customers use mealboxes and which day people purchase which recipes. By developing a rich understanding of customer behaviour, we can further evolve Presto to create a better product with even fresher ingredients.