The nature of the fast food industry has changed over the past few decades. However, it is important to note that globalization has only changed ‘some’ aspects of the fast food industry. For instance, the taste factor remains important to producers and consumers alike although the health factor is gaining momentum. In the United Kingdom, the food industry still has some aspects of the old British traditions.
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This report focuses on how these traditional aspects of the food industry can be merged with modern technology to produce a revolutionary venture. Across the UK and some other parts of Europe, individuals are continuously shying away from fast food establishments due to health and ethical concerns. On the other hand, people are finding it ‘pretentious’ or unsatisfactory to survive on fruits and salads (some of which are laden with chemicals).
Consequently, the next big idea in the food industry depends on finding a middle ground between the liberal fast-food enterprise and the cost-friendly concepts of the traditional British cuisine. Organic Wheels is a venture that will exist on the technological, fast food, and health realms of the food industry. The report explores various aspects of this new venture with emphasis on how this business can be exploited.
The Innovation Idea
Organic Wheels is both the name of the ready food producing and distributing business and the mobile phone application that will compliment it. Organic Wheels (OW) will supply food that is mostly similar to the one that is served in restaurants that deal with organic foods to delivery customers. OW will have four vital components: the farmer connection, the simple kitchens, traceable distribution vehicles, and the app that connects the company to customers.
Although the company is titled ‘organic foods’, the businesses’ emphasis is on ‘safe foods’ whereby farmers have all the necessary information concerning the source of all ingredients in their foods. Lately, there has been a tendency for major food retailers to supply questionable foods such as meats, greens, and exotic sweeteners (Tuck 2014). OW will catalogue foods, their history, and any verifiable information concerning them.
The company hopes to alleviate the current myths concerning safe foods and encourage farmers to venture in this area, as currently they are the major hitch in the organic food industry. Overall, OW is handing food consumers the control as if they were the ones growing the foods themselves and at the same time re-establishing the lost connection between farmers and end consumers. For instance, organic food enthusiasts reckon that they do not mind an occasional insect in their foodstuff as long as it is safe, but middlemen would never buy any foodstuffs that are less than perfect. Customers will access our products through the company website or the mobile phone app.
First, the customers will peruse through the menus of the day and at the same time, they will be able to see what is included in every meal and its origins. Then, customers will seek the nearest distributing van in their location in the same manner “Uber Cabs” work (Andringa 2016). Finally, they will be able to access their meal of choice in the shortest time possible and at the least expense to the company.
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The elite image that is often associated with safe and organ foods is no longer viable, and new market segments have been ignored as a result of some of the misconceptions surrounding this industry. The ideal customer for OW will be an individual who mistrusts the current fast food regime or one who is looking to change. In addition, the customer will be farmer-centric whereby he/she supports the traditional farmer who is less concerned about profits than the majority corporate growers are. Customers will also be individuals who are concerned with efficiency because they will be able to track their delivery in real-time. The simplicity of OW’s menus will also seek to impress health-conscious individuals.
Fast-food customers and organic-food consumers currently occupy the targeted market segment for OW. Fast foods deliveries provide cheaper products than the ones that are proposed by the OW, but they are set to incur higher delivery-expenses. Another competitor for OW is the various food joints that operate under the umbrella of organic foods. However, these products do not provide the transparency that will be available through the OW website and app.
OW is not set to encounter stiff competition when it enters the market because it follows a new and largely untested business model. The company scores high in most aspects of competitiveness because it is set to be a benchmark. When it comes to bargaining power, OW has an advantage because it seeks to involve customers in the production process. Currently, OW is in the middle level when it comes to the bargaining power of customers because it is not clear who will gain the upper hand eventually. The company faces an uncertainty when it comes to suppliers’ bargaining power, and it achieves a low score in this regard.
For instance, at any given point the number of farmers who produce safe foods and who are open to scrutiny is set to be limited in the foreseeable future (Rahman, Stumpf, & Reynolds 2014). Therefore, OW is set to contend with high bargaining power among its suppliers. The threat of substitutes as it applies to OW is low because the main element is transparency of ingredients and production process, which is not common among food retailers. The threat of new entrants for OW is medium because the success of this business is the only factor that can attract similar business models.
OW is set to receive political support in various levels because it promotes a culture of transparency whilst ushering in a revolution in the food industry. Besides, organic farming coincided with the global need for environmental preservation a top agenda for various political factions (Hillocks 2012). The company enters a section of the food market that is rarely influenced by external economic factors.
For instance, the economics of safe crop production are mostly affected by weather conditions. Under the social microscope, OW is set to find favour among individuals who feel that capitalistic interests have taken over the food industry whereby entities can feed anything to the masses as long as their venture is profitable. One technological advantage for OW is that currently there are various aspects of technology that can support safe animal and crop farming (Bath, Button & Rayman 2012).
Justification of Product
OW is a unique product because it addresses the three main areas of concern when it comes to the food industry. First, it satisfies the growing need for safe and healthy food. Then, OW encompasses the spirit of the information age where technological platforms have made enabled consumers to share useful and market-centric facts.
Finally, the business takes back consumers to the era when they could meet face to face with the farmer and enquire where and how he produced his/her items (before the negative effects of capitalistic behaviours among food producers). All these concerns combine to form a new business regime that is founded on simplistic solutions.
The main customers should be individuals who believe in simple solutions to complex modern issues. For a long time, there has been no need to deliver organic foods because the market for these items has been considerably small. In addition, most of the restaurants that serve organic foods are often undersupplied because there are not many farmers and other producers of this category of foods (Lang 2009). However, all these dynamic shifts have shifted thereby leaving a large segment of conscious feeders unattended.
OW will target urban dwellers across the UK with emphasis on the most-concentrated areas such as London. The food will be prepared at kitchens that will be located on the outskirts of towns where operation costs are lower, and then loaded into vans that traverse various routes across the town environment. Each van will have a driver and another delivery person who will monitor customer requests as they come. Customers will use the OW app in their phones to ‘hail a meal’ as it is the case with traditional ice-cream trucks.
The start-up costs for OW are varied with most of the primary resources going towards the designing of the technological infrastructure. The distribution vehicles of the company will also be modified at a substantial cost in order to maximize capacity and improve efficiency. The business depends on the ability to form a network of accessible farmers who are willing to take their craft to the world, and this takes time and money. Finally, there are the usual setup costs including office/kitchen premises, personnel, and licensing among others.
Critical Success Factors
The business stands in the assumption that there are various farmers who would be interested in establishing direct contact with end users and receive reviews on their products (Hanks 2016). For instance, a chicken farmer would be able to withstand scrutiny from customers who suspect that his birds are being fed hormones. There is a large bloc of consumers who would be interested in knowing who raises their beef, but the total involvement of farmers remains an uphill task. Nevertheless, farmers who can manage to survive this system stand to benefit from a premium market of health conscious customers.
This idea came to me because every time I sit down to enjoy a hamburger on the run, images from the internet concerning how cows are injected with hormones and being fed meat, ruin my would-be pleasant experience. Therefore, I thought it would be honourable for me to know at least where my food comes from just for the sake of my peace of mind. On the other hand, I have heard stories of organic farmers who are edged out of the market by mainstream producers because they do not have a platform that embraces their noble career choices.
Organic Wheels seeks to take on the food industry by storm. There are indicators that the fast food industry does not command any major influence in the market and OW seeks to capitalize on this change in business regime. The information age has brought transparency and ease to all other aspects of life and what we eat should not be an exception. In ten years to come, what is now an innovative venture is set to be a mainstream endeavour.
Andringa, S 2016, “Hospitality entrepreneurship: a link in the career chain”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 7-9.
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Bath, S.C., Button, S., & Rayman, M 2012, “Iodine concentration of organic and conventional milk: implications for iodine intake”, British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 107, no. 7, pp. 935-940.
Hanks, L 2016, “Consumer response to organic food in restaurants: A serial mediation analysis”, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 109-121.
Hillocks, R.J 2012, “Farming with fewer pesticides: EU pesticide review and resulting challenges for UK agriculture”, Crop Protection, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 85-93.
Lang, T 2009, “The complexities of globalization: The UK as a case study of tensions within the food system and the challenge to food policy”, Agriculture and Human Values, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 169-185.
Rahman, I., Stumpf, T., & Reynolds, D 2014, “A comparison of the influence of purchaser attitudes and product attributes on organic wine preferences”, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 1, 127-134.
Tuck, S 2014, “Land‐use intensity and the effects of organic farming on biodiversity: a hierarchical meta‐analysis”, Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 746-755.