Catering companies enter the bureau to speed up the serving of pre-made dishes

  Our reporter Yang Tianyue

  Standardized processing and distribution, microwave heating for a few minutes, you can enjoy the chef-level taste at home.

In the post-epidemic era, home dining needs have made quick and delicious pre-made dishes a favorite of many people.

In addition to the extensive layout of food companies such as Zhengda and Fucheng, in the past year, catering companies such as Guangzhou Restaurant, Meizhou Dongpo, and Hunan and Hubei have also entered the prefabricated vegetable market.

"Double 11" sales data show that the turnover of pre-made dishes on the Tmall platform has increased by about two times year-on-year.

The industry believes that if the pre-made vegetable industry wants to achieve long-term development, it must solve the contradiction between standardization and specialization, as well as supply system construction and food safety management.

  Traditional Chinese dishes become "fast food"

  Tear open the plastic bag and put it in the microwave for simple heating. After 15 minutes, the three “hard dishes” that are difficult to cook at home, such as small fried beef, braised pork in a crock pot, and glutinous rice balls, are easily served on the table.

For the white-collar Ms. Mao who works in China World Trade Center, pre-made dishes have solved her most troublesome daily cooking problem.

"Buy a few boxes and freeze them in the refrigerator. You can eat them soon after get off work. Then I will fry some vegetables and mix them with meat and vegetables, so I don't even need to wash the dishes."

  Ms. Mao’s home-stay meal is a pre-made dish recently launched at the Xiang E Qing Restaurant.

The reporter noticed on the JD platform that the store recently launched ten pre-made dishes including glutinous rice beef, braised pork in a crock pot, pearl balls, braised beef brisket with tomato, and small farm pork, all of which are classic traditional dishes sold in the store. .

  The production of quick-frozen dishes by Chinese food companies has gradually become a trend.

At the beginning of last year, the Sichuan cuisine chain brand Meizhou Dongpo launched a series of fast food. At present, the flagship store of Jingdong has attracted more than 800,000 people.

Meicai Kourou is the highest-selling pre-made dish. Judging from the evaluation content, many consumers regard it as a standing family dish.

In addition to dim sum such as shrimp dumplings and barbecued pork buns, Guangdong Restaurant, a chain of Cantonese cuisine, has recently launched frozen pre-made dishes such as sweet and sour pork ribs and soy sauce chicken.

  The epidemic prevention and control situation has hindered offline catering consumption. Under the multiple effects of the "home economy" and fast pace of life, prefabricated dishes officially "made their debut" last year and ushered in rapid development.

Data from the Tmall platform shows that during this year's "Double 11" period, the turnover of pre-made dishes, including semi-finished dishes and instant dishes, increased by about two times year-on-year.

Dingdong Maicai launched its own-branded fast food dishes at the beginning of this year, and sold more than 100 million copies in less than a year.

  Fresh-keeping storage tests catering companies

  In the impression of many consumers, quick-frozen foods are mostly staple foods such as dumplings, steamed buns, and hand cakes.

In fact, many food companies have begun to make efforts in the field of quick-frozen dishes. After several years of development, the prefabricated vegetable market has become relatively mature.

  At present, in the A-share market, there are more than a dozen listed companies related to prefabricated vegetables, and many companies such as Zhengda, Fucheng, Sanquan and other companies have launched prefabricated vegetables related products.

According to the reporter's rough statistics, the Fucheng Fresh Home series of Fucheng shares includes 20 to 30 dishes including boiled fish, Maoxuewang, Xinjiang large plate chicken; Zhengda Foods is also online in addition to semi-finished snacks such as small crispy meat and chicken nuggets. Pre-made dishes such as pepper pork belly chicken, Jintang pickled fish and so on.

  The reporter noticed that the shelf life of pre-prepared vegetables such as Mei Cai buttoned pork and tomato stewed sirloin in Hunan, Hubei and Hubei is one year, and the ingredient list does not contain common food preservatives such as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate.

"The low-temperature quick-freezing method itself can preserve freshness very well." Meng Kai, the founder of XiangEqing, said that the different production concepts are the advantages of catering companies.

However, the ingredients list of Mei Cai Kou Po and Yi Pin Dong Po Pork in Meizhou Dongpo contain sodium benzoate, and the store will also indicate the approximate production date in the product details.

  "The chain of the pre-prepared vegetable industry is relatively long, and there are many links from the completion of processing to the consumer's table. Cold chain transportation, preservation and storage all need to be safe, which is a big challenge for catering companies." Said Zhang Yongjian, director of the Food and Drug Industry Development and Regulatory Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

  Zhang Yongjian believes that catering companies that are good at dine-in preparation and dish research and development enter the prefabricated vegetable market, and it is also an efficient choice to cooperate with food companies.

However, how to reflect the characteristics of a single store in highly industrialized production is also a problem that catering companies need to consider.

At present, a brand that can be widely recognized and trusted in the pre-prepared vegetable industry has not yet been born. For catering companies, instead of occupying the market with a low price, it is better to build a trustworthy brand through the quality of the dishes.

  The next trillion catering market

  According to iiMedia Consulting's data, the scale of the national prefabricated vegetable market this year is estimated to be 345.9 billion yuan, an increase of 18.1% year-on-year. In the future, it will increase year by year at a growth rate of 20%. The market size will reach 515.6 billion yuan in 2023.

In the next 6 to 7 years, my country's prepared vegetable industry is expected to achieve a scale of more than 3 trillion yuan and become the "next trillion catering market."

  From the evaluation of users on various platforms, adding "big dishes" to home dining is the main consumption scene for many people to buy pre-made dishes, and many office workers regard pre-made dishes as working lunches, "the taste is close to dine-in" and "the taste is very stable." It is a relatively common evaluation in prepared dishes.

  In the eyes of many consumers, thanks to industrialization and standardized production, pre-made dishes from large chain catering and food companies are of higher quality than ordinary Xiaomenlian takeaways.

However, the hygiene and safety issues of pre-made dishes cannot be ignored.

"Even the pre-made dishes of branded catering companies can be consistent with the hygiene standards of the store's bright kitchens? Are preservatives added for the pursuit of a long shelf life? I hope that the market supervision department will strictly control them." Citizen Xiao Jiang said.