Ghost kitchens prepare and cook foods for home delivery, often preparing products for other brands. The ongoing pandemic fueled growth for ghost kitchens in the human food industry, as the ambiance of a restaurant no longer mattered. At the same time and for similar reasons, the pandemic increased pet owners’ demand for pet food delivery, and fresh dog and cat meals in particular gained market share, according to Nielsen Global Connect data. One ghost kitchen in Taiwan synthesized those trends and began their own brand of fresh, home-delivered dog and cat foods. JustKitchen launched its proprietary Wow Chow brand into local and national markets earlier this month.
“We don’t think food delivery will ever go back to pre-COVID level,” John Yu, chief marketing officer at Justkitchen, told Petfood Industry. “It is very convenient and has become a part of life. The impact on pet food shopping is even more significant. Pets usually don’t have the luxury to choose to dine out.”
JustKitchen offers fresh pet food meal delivery via UberEats in an area of Taipei near their kitchen. On June 29, the company plans to open two new kitchens and expand their fresh delivery range. Frozen Wow Chow is available throughout Taiwan.
Ghost kitchens for start-up pet food companies
While Wow Chow is JustKitchen’s proprietary brand, the company can also make pet foods for other brands in their ghost kitchens.
“Through our ghost kitchens pet food start-ups can quickly gain exposure to target areas,” Yu said. “Pet food start-ups can even test customer feedback with trial tasting samples.”
For example, JustKitchen can ship a sample of a pet food brand from their kitchen to existing customers with pets, he said. For those pet owners who decide to continue on after the sample, on demand Wow Chow meals can cost as little as US$2.85.
JustKitchen’s fresh home-delivered pet foods follow growing consumer demand trends, as pet owners demand the same qualities in pet food that they look for in their own. While some pet owners move away from commercial pet foods and prepare their own pets’ foods, JustKitchen aims to remove the need for cooking and guessing on the part of pet owners, Yu said.
From a press release: Just Kitchen currently operates in Taiwan and Hong Kong with plans to expand operations to the United States and other Asian countries. JustKitchen uniquely utilizes a hub-and-spoke operating model, which features advanced food preparation taking place at larger hub kitchens and final meal preparation taking place at smaller spoke kitchens located in areas with higher population densities. The Company combines this operating model with online and mobile application-based food ordering fulfilled by third-party delivery companies, to minimize capital investments and operating expenses and reach more customers in underserved markets. The Company's other business, JustMarket, is an e-commerce grocery delivery platform that allows customers to purchase groceries for delivery or add select grocery items to meals ordered through JustKitchen.