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최종편집 : 2023.11.27 월 18:07
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 Hong Soo-min&Choi Yeong-eun
Is the Delivery Food Related to the Meal-Kit Phenomenon?
제 199 호    발행일 : 2021.09.01 

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COVID-19 changed our food consumption system a lot. People now have difficulty in eating out because of COVID-19. For this reason, many people lately get their meals using delivery applications. According to National Statistical Office data, the delivery food service’s turnover in 2020 was 17.3828 trillion won, up 78.6% percent from 9.7328 trillion won in 2019.
Meanwhile, there is a new catchword on the topic among consumers with delivery food. Which is “Meal-Kit”. Meal-Kit is a combination of “meal” and “kit.” It’s a composition of prepared ingredients for cooking, just the right amount of seasoning and a recipe. It’s also called a cooking box or a recipe box. According to Euromonitor, since 2017, the domestic Meal-Kit market has been growing at an annual rate of 400% and recorded 188.2 billion won in 2020, up 85% year-on-year.



<Advantages and flaws of delivery food>

  The biggest advantage of delivering food is convenience. According to Opensurvey’s results, in 2020, “Cooking is bothersome.” was ranked first as the reason for ordering delivery food. Also, the percentage of choosing external environmental factors such as COVID-19 increased significantly compared to the previous year. Therefore, eating comfortably is the biggest advantage of delivering food when people are lazy to cook for themselves or restricted from eating out. The biggest flaw of delivery food is “the discarding of disposable products problems.” According to statistics from the Ministry of Environment, because food delivery increased by 75.1 percent and parcel service by 19.8 percent compared to 2019, plastic wastes increased by 14.6 percent, and vinyl wastes increased by 11 percent after the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover, daily disposable products emissions are 8.3million items. This means the environmental problem of delivering food is serious.

<Advantages and flaws of Meal-Kit>

  Meanwhile, Professor Lee Young-eun of the department of Food and Nutrition at Chungkbuk National University commented about the Meal-Kit advantage, “The biggest advantage is convenience. The number of family members are decreased by increasing single-person households, ‘DINK’, women’s advancement in society, and unweddedness. Also, purchasing raw food material increases the amount of food thrown away and loss costs occur to that extent. Therefore, many people use a  Meal-Kit. Moreover, consumers tend to eat various foods in small quantities rather than just one food at one meal. The Meal-Kit is usually one or two servings, so it has the advantage of allowing various foods to be eaten in one meal.” Also, the professor commented on the flaw of Meal-Kit, “Meal-Kit causes a serious increase in disposable packaging. Excessive packaging is produced by individual packaging. It’s a big problem which runs counter to sustainable environment conservation”.
  Moreover, the professor commented on Meal-Kit hygiene, “It’s hard to summarize hygiene and nutrition in a word, because each of these depends on the manufacturing food company and the food. Therefore, it’s convenient checking Nutritional Facts before purchasing Meal-Kit. Also, Meal-Kit usually comes with higher sodium content such as seasoning and sauce than home cooking, so if you adjust the amount during cooking, you can enjoy a more nutritious diet.”
  Next, let’s listen to bloggers who buy Meal-Kit and post recommendations to many people. Soo Ji-ni, who runs a Naver Blog said, “The biggest advantage of Meal-Kit is convenience. In this case, “convenience” means simplicity of material preparation, cooking and easy food plaiting. I especially have greater satisfaction when I can cook meals like the professionals with visual and taste appeal which goes beyond convenience.” While she said about its flaws, “It is expensive when it comes to items that are cheap and easy to make at home like Soybean Paste Stew. However, it’s reasonable when compared to the price of eating out. Also, they aren't tend to purchase products over 20,000 won.”

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<The relationship between delivery food and Meal-Kit >

 
CBT reporters covered the merits and demerits of delivery food and Meal-Kit. On our initial investigation we found reports of reduced consumption of delivery food and increased consumption of Meal-Kit. Now, let’s see if these reports hold up to scrutiny. About the relationship between the two means, interviews have revealed new facts. Lee Young-eun, a professor of the Department of Food and Nutrition at Chungbuk National University, responded to the question “Do you think delivery food and Meal-Kit are influenced by the prolonged COVID-19?” She said “The two ways are dietary trends, rather than influential. It’s simply people choosing the form they want. If people want to cook their own creative and personal food, they will choose Meal-Kit. If people want convenience, they will choose take-out, home delivery food. In the future, consumers will want food that has convenience and creativity while solving nutritional problems, and combatting disease all in one. Therefore, the future trend is likely to be a Meal-Kit.”

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  The Blogger’s opinion is similar to the professor’s. She commented “I wanted to change my eating habits, so I started using Meal-Kit, instead of delivery food. It hasn’t been long since I started using it. Recently, the number of home-cooked meals has increased due to COVID-19, and health concerns have arisen because of constant delivery of food or simple single dishes. Of course, the price of the Meal-Kit is not cheap, so I cooked it myself at first. However, because of the nature of the two-person household, it’s easy to throw away lots of fresh ingredients, and it’s not easy to cook and eat within an hour’s short lunchtime, so I started to purchase Meal-Kit.” Also, when the CBT reporters asked “Do you think you’ll use Meal-Kit often in the future?,” she said “Yes, I bought them at the store, even today. I’m going to use it constantly in the future. In the past, I used to buy it simply for special meals, but from now on, I’m going to buy it for home-cooked meals.”

  Taken together these two interviews show that there are two types of food consumption and there is no relationship between delivery food and Meal-Kit. Consumers are choosing between various types of consumption according to their circumstances. Also, the reason why the relationship seems to be influential was that the Meal-Kit, fit better with the current trend of consumption and therefore consumers buy a lot of them.

  In this article, the reporter investigated the relationship between delivery food and Meal-Kit. According to the opinions of two experts, both delivery food and Meal-Kit have similarities in convenience, but Meal-Kit are more dominant in nutritional matters. Therefore, there was a surprising outcome showing that they don’t really influence each other. However, since two interviews cannot conclude the matter it would be good to read this article and judge for yourself.

  In the future, consumers will continue to use Meal-Kit more. However, the problem of “overpackaging” is occurring with the Meal-Kit. If a company that manufactures Meal-Kit simply implement measures to reduce excessive waste emissions, the purchase rate is expected to rise significantly.

  Through this article, the CBT reporters hope that look back on your eating habits whether you often eat delivery food, buy a Meal-Kit or make it yourself. Then, it will be a useful opportunity to find out which aspects of food consume you focused on.


By Hong Soo-min | sm41@cbnu.ac.kr
By Choi Yeong-eun | duddms8640@cbnu.ac.kr

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