Tech Planet reported on Friday that A-Bite Technology, founded by former chairman of Luckin Coffee Charles Lu, is incubating a new precooked dishes project called “A-Bite Workshop.” A-Bite Workshop is the second catering-related project pursued by Lu following his departure from Luckin. Before this, he founded the Quxiaomian brand.
According to its official introduction, A-Bite Workshop purchases first-hand raw materials from their place of origin, processes them into semi-finished dishes, freezes or refrigerates them for storage, and transports them to retail terminals via the cold chain. After purchase, they can be simply cooked and become delicious meals. Precooked dishes greatly shorten the time and the requirements for kitchen equipment, which further lowers the threshold of catering industry.
According to data from Everbright Securities, the precooked dishes’ industry grew at a compound annual growth rate of 26% from 2019, and by 2025, the scale of the precooked dishes’ industry will exceed 1 trillion yuan ($156.69 billion).
Behind the rise of precooked dishes is a desire within the catering industry to improve efficiency, and heightening demand from consumers, who seem to be becoming busier and lazier. According to Freshippo’s data, 54% of consumers born after 1995 often buy ingredients to cook by themselves, and semi-finished dishes are one of their favorite products. Their purchase ratio is twice that of consumers born after 1965.
The biggest advantage of A-Bite Workshop is capital. There are three companies related to A-Bite Workshop according to Tianyancha, whose legal representatives are Yang Zhuo, Zhou Bin and Li Jun, all of whom are veterans who have followed Charles Lu since CAR Inc., with registered capital of 5 million yuan ($783,429). All three companies are 100% owned by A-Bite Technology.
According to the official introduction of A-Bite Workshop, one of its advantages is that it is cheap – the price of precooked ingredients is close to that of raw materials purchased directly from supermarkets, and the price of precooked dishes is 50%-60% that of restaurants. At present, A-Bite Workshop intends to rapidly expand its market by franchise, with investment of 30,000 yuan ($4,700.57), and stores of 8 square meters. In order to sign the contract, franchisees need to pay an intention deposit of 10,000 yuan ($1,567).