Why online food ordering startup FreshMenu launched a print magazine

'Food For Thought' will be a medium to start a deeper conversation with the modern Indian customer, says Aparna Mahesh, CMO, FreshMenu

Freshmenu food for thought

Running an online food delivery business in India is like walking a tight rope. On one side, there are hungry consumers, and on the other, a bunch of savvy food tech start-ups equally hungry to feed them.

While the sector grew to encouraging highs in the beginning years, it also witnessed a good number of acquisitions and shut-downs, to have finally found equilibrium, with global players around, and the rise of urban Indians looking for good food delivered right to their doorsteps!

Citing numbers, “India’s food delivery sector had gone from soaring high to plunging deep into the oceans with companies shuttering and downsizing and food tech investments plunging from $500 million in 2015 to $80 million in 2016”, states a Business Standard report. It has become imperative for food tech companies to find ways to differentiate themselves.

FreshMenu, a three-year-old startup has its own kitchens and expert chefs who cook up a fresh menu every day from an array of international cuisines. Currently catering to Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, FreshMenu drives business mainly through its app and website, and by partnering with aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy, etc.

“A large part of the business comes from repeat customers,” FreshMenu founder and CEO Rashmi Daga revealed to Gadgets360 in a recent interview, emphasizing the brand’s belief that meaningful content marketing can drive sales.  Recently, the company ventured deeper into content marketing by launching its own print magazine, ‘Food For Thought’.

Freshmenu_Food_for_thought_magIt has partnered with the rather interestingly named, DontBeContent, who have an entire panel of experts curating the content specifically keeping in mind the wants and desires of the customer.

Given that the FreshMenu blog along with other social media brand channels are already doing a great job in content marketing, ‘what edge will the magazine hope to achieve for FreshMenu?, was a question that began to bother us.

“Content has always been a focus at FreshMenu.com, and we believe in creating different formats of the same to suit consumer preferences – whether it’s for snacking or in-depth reading. People have a short attention span on social media. Long form content consumption online is reducing by the day and people prefer non-static content like videos,” Aparna Mahesh, Chief Marketing Officer - FreshMenu said.

“Yet, there is a large section of our customers who are hungry to know much more about global food, ingredients, trends and cooking process. A magazine hence becomes a great medium to bring this sort of content to life,” she explained justifying the need for the magazine.

“Our motto is to delight customers with taste and provide them with an array of interesting experiences connected in some way to food.”

FreshMenu as a brand, brings together several aspects of lifestyle like travel, health and the appetite to explore the unknown. Understanding the pulse of modern Indian customers,Food For Thought will be a medium to start a deeper conversation with them and further fortify our effort to bring something exciting to their plates. Innovation and being unconventional is in the DNA of the brand and this magazine is yet another step in that direction.”

While physical copies of the magazine are being distributed to some of the loyal customers, Food For Thought also has a digital format that is live on the site. The magazine can be accessed online too -http://bit.ly/2glsrKz

An interesting thought process inspires the content curation for the magazine. FreshMenu is banking on a content strategy that helps build a positive brand perception. “We believe that consumers today are hungry to know more about food and international cuisines. And given that we are a food company who comes up with a new menu every day, this story telling helps build the brand’s perception in a consumer’s mind as someone who is aware of the “know-hows” of food.”

She remarked that very few people know the kind of work which goes behind a brand like FreshMenu. “The entire process of curating a new menu every day and giving a twist to global cuisine to meet the Indian palate is extremely fascinating. At FreshMenu.com, a lot of R&D goes into developing the dishes, creating them and finally bringing them onto our menu. We want to share a glimpse of what we do behind the scenes with our customers beyond just the final product.”

“We want to share a glimpse of what we do behind the scenes with our customers beyond just the final product.”

“Also content about experimenting with food, healthy food, or more in-depth topics like cooking styles or the origins of the dish uplift the entire consumer experience, and this is what we are set out to achieve with the magazine,” she highlighted.

The brand has also taken customer preferences into consideration and highlighted them in the magazine. At the same time, since it experiments with a lot of international cuisines and ingredients, it wants to demystify them and make it relatable to customers, so that they will be willing to experiment and try out newer cuisines. Apart from generic content, the magazine will also include some city specific content in the form of trends or infographics based on ordering patterns seen on the platform.

Content marketing is highly significant to app-based start-ups like FreshMenu, and the brand has now forayed into a video series highlighting various use cases for a customer. FreshMenu’s foray into a dedicated food magazine will not only help create deeper conversations with its loyal consumer base, it is also building the right brand perception one food story at a time.

Food for Thought, available as a print magazine for regular customers, as well as a digital format for wooing new ones, is a great shot at content marketing, especially in this age of millennials who want to know more about a brand.