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Old 10.10.2017, 15:35
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business idea / surprise food boxes

We are a group of MBA students and are currently trying to set up a small start-up business. For this reason we would like to know your opinion about the following idea.

The core idea is to offer boxes filled with swiss food on a monthly base. You will receive every month a package filled with swiss candy, chocolate, herbs and other local well-known and not so well-known specialities from Switzerland. The customer does not know what he will get in advance and the surprise factor will have a huge influence on the business model. When it comes to the payment we were thinking about a subscription model for several months.

In addition we thought that with the solution above foreigners in Switzerland are able to get in contact with new products and broaden their culinary horizon. Therefore firstly we are interested in how foreigners think about this idea and if they would appreciate this kind of service? And if you like this idea how much money you are willing to pay every month?

Thanks for your honest feedback
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Old 10.10.2017, 15:53
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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We are a group of MBA students and are currently trying to set up a small start-up business. For this reason we would like to know your opinion about the following idea.

The core idea is to offer boxes filled with swiss food on a monthly base. You will receive every month a package filled with swiss candy, chocolate, herbs and other local well-known and not so well-known specialities from Switzerland. The customer does not know what he will get in advance and the surprise factor will have a huge influence on the business model. When it comes to the payment we were thinking about a subscription model for several months.

In addition we thought that with the solution above foreigners in Switzerland are able to get in contact with new products and broaden their culinary horizon. Therefore firstly we are interested in how foreigners think about this idea and if they would appreciate this kind of service? And if you like this idea how much money you are willing to pay every month?

Thanks for your honest feedback
Why do you assume that foreigners need to broaden their culinary horizon and probably assume that we only eat food from home?

And candy and chocolate?

For a surprise package like that: not for me.

I do like the weekly delivery from a farmer with vegetables, never knowing exactly what veggies will come that week.
Apart from that I am not that much into surprises anyway
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:02
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

Swiss chocolate...what a surprise .


I'd be genuinely (and positively) surprise to get some belgium one or some other country's one instead.


Beside that, big honest boak.

I'd never like that and if, in the unlikely scenario, a secret admirer would get me one of these surprise boxes, I'll surely be disappointed and annoyed with most of its content.*

*Unless it's full of gold, diamonds, and/or chf (or any decent currency, in fact).
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:02
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

I work with food and sell food at my shop and online. I would say you would have a very tiny market. Very few locals would shop like this and not many more, percentage wise, of foreigners would either.

But it is an interesting idea, I would say offer a one month/ one parcel deal with rising discounts for taking up a 3 month, 6 month and 12 month subscription. But communicating your offer to the public would take a lot of work. Price wise? I would suggest around 35.00 CHF inc post would attractive enough for a few people to give it a go.
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:07
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

It doesn't really fit into any kind of marketing model. It's not a gift because it's something you receive every month, which you presumably sign up for yourself and it's not really a shopping idea because you don't know what you are getting, nor whether you like/want/need it.

You might as well stand at the main train station with a lucky dip bin and charge people CHF 5.- to pull out a mystery prize.
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:11
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

I would have no interest in your idea.

Most of us are already well acquainted with Swiss cuisine. Many of us make it a priority to get to know our host country's culture, including regional cuisines, from the start. Many of us come from culinary cultures that are very adventureous.

In fact, I find your assumption that we foreigners are too dimwitted to explore Swiss cuisine on our own absurd.

Swiss specialties are everywhere, you can't walk down any high street without stubbing your toe on 'gutbürgerlich Küche' or regional specialties on offer.

Why on earth would I want someone I don't know, who has no idea as to my tastes, to pick something out for me? I do it myself, regularly. I buy from local farms, local producers. When I travel around the country I try local specialities - where I can assess the quality of the local offering myself.

And why on earth would I want a mystery package? Why would I pay for something without knowing what I am getting?

Your project gets a big 'Fail' from me. Mostly because the premise is rather patronizing.


On a more serious note wrt mystery items:

How are you going to take into account food sensitivities and allergies? What sort of refund are you going to have to offer your customers if you send something they cannot eat? Or if you send something that is spoiled, or otherwise unsatisfactory? What is your refusal/return policy, are you going to pay for return postage?
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:19
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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How are you going to take into account food sensitivities and allergies? What sort of refund are you going to have to offer your customers if you send something they cannot eat? Or if you send something that is spoiled, or otherwise unsatisfactory? What is your refusal/return policy, are you going to pay for return postage?
You can use a different label sticker, like writing pea instead of peanuts.
Important detail: no labeling as who sent the mystery box.

Problem solved. (you can even include additional service like the mystery sympathy card for a fiver).

PS: no return!! It's a mystery, you're not supposed to know who sent it or what it contains!
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:20
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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PS: no return!! It's a mystery, you're not supposed to know who sent it or what it contains!
But still pay for it
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:22
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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But still pay for it
WHAAAAT? it's not paid by someone else to surprise you??

So you basically surprise yourself?....


It's like putting a mirror behind the entry door or something.
Erm...

Edit: ha yes, you are right... "The core idea is to offer boxes filled with swiss food on a monthly base. ...When it comes to the payment we were thinking about a subscription model for several months." Oh gosh.

Last edited by CorsebouTheReturn; 10.10.2017 at 16:24. Reason: re-reading
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:30
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

The model is tried and tested with wine.. Loads of 'wine clubs' will send you x number of bottles wine each month and you don't know what's coming. So of course the core model works.

But I just don't think i'd be interested in a food version of same.
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:38
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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The model is tried and tested with wine.. Loads of 'wine clubs' will send you x number of bottles wine each month and you don't know what's coming.
Yea, but then you know that you will get wine. Here you would not know whether you get chocolate, rösti or kutteln!
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:39
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

I admire anyone who comes up with an 'new' idea. It's definitely one in your favour that you came on here and ask what we think about it and what, in our opinion, your prospects are.

Now the bad bits. If you use an internet site, please look where you should be posting. Your thread is not, in EF talk, Daily LIfe. (lots of other posts in this section aren't either, but as it is top of the list, folk often don't look any further).
Either in the Business-Entrepreneur section or Food and Drink. Sure, we saw your Thread anyway, but I, for one, am more impressed when new members take the trouble to put their questions, comments or ideas in the right place.

Back on topic - A couple of years back I was given a year's Gift Subscription to a British firm which send monthly packages containing all the 'specialist' ingredients for a spicy meal and detailed instructions of what other basic ingredients one required and how to cook it all. Each month one also had the option of selecting a different menu from the one which 'belonged' to the subscription.

It is a brilliant idea and although I did not renew my subscrition, I have kept all the details and reproduce some of meals from time to time. Probably being run in a place with the population of Britain made it possible for it to work successfully. (and probably it took years of hard work to get it off the ground).

Your prospective customers in Switzerland are simply too thin on the ground. We have a thread on the forum showing the things we already make. I agree with those who are suspicious of surprises. The idea of getting a 'mixed bag' of food which forces me to think up various menus to use it all, fills me with dread! And if the products were indeed new to us, unless you enclosed recipes for using each item we wouldn't know what to do with them anyway.
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:41
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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Yea, but then you know that you will get wine. Here you would not know whether you get chocolate, rösti or kutteln!
They should send a SICK "Swiss Innovation Culinary Kit" (potato, cheese, bread), which offers the wonderful opportunity to combine them and create almost all of the national dishes.
It's the MYOD (Make Your Own Dish), the next gen evolution for the BYOB
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:48
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

I didn't find the idea patronising or in any way offensive. As John_H said, this model already works with wines.

If the suppliers could guarantee that all foods in the box would have a shelf-life of at least, say 3 weeks, then perhaps it could work. That way, one would have the chance to eat the products before the next box arrived.

I could imagine this working with a different box per canton, so that, in the course of 2 years, one would have tried out treats from all over Switzerland. This could be worth having, I think, as long as these treats were not regularly avaiable in everyone's local supermarket already, e.g. the "Bündner Nusstorte" made by Jowa and sold in mosst Migros stores nation-wide.

If the registration could include clickable lists of foods (or food categories) the subscriber definitely didn't want to receive, that would accommodate those with allergies, and allow for personal taste.

Similarly, one could click on categories in which one might be particularly interested, such a wine, cheese, baked goods or fruit conserves.

It might be worth offering an option of sharing a subscription, so that two households each get a box every other month.

I think the deal would feel fair only if the quantities were clearly defined. This is also important, practically, so it can fit in with the rest of the shopping done by that person or family.
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:50
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

do it with italian food (or better yet, italian wine) and you might be onto something.

this has been done with wine before in the UK and US and seems to work well. I would think swiss people and particularly swiss based foreigners less likely to seize upon it though. they seem to know what they like and know what they want more than the average joe in the UK or US.

personally, I'd do it if it was all cheese. not just swiss cheese, but swiss, italian, french, british, spanish (any other countries make edible cheese?).
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:53
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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personally, I'd do it if it was all cheese. not just swiss cheese, but swiss, italian, french, british, spanish (any other countries make edible cheese?).
You just insulted several forum members
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Old 10.10.2017, 16:55
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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You just insulted several forum members
what country did i miss? india?
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Old 10.10.2017, 17:14
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

How about I send you boxes of surprises of what foreigners can enjoy in Switzerland?

with a little cost of course
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Old 10.10.2017, 17:18
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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How about I send you boxes of surprises of what foreigners can enjoy in Switzerland?

with a little cost of course
Why not? Perhaps that's a worthwhile business idea. A box of edibles from a different country every month. With the subscription including similar clickable choices as I mentioned above, to specify preferences and exclude allergies, etc.
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Old 10.10.2017, 17:34
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Re: business idea / surprise food boxes

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We are a group of MBA students and are currently trying to set up a small start-up business. For this reason we would like to know your opinion about the following idea.

The core idea is to offer boxes filled with swiss food on a monthly base. You will receive every month a package filled with swiss candy, chocolate, herbs and other local well-known and not so well-known specialities from Switzerland. The customer does not know what he will get in advance and the surprise factor will have a huge influence on the business model. When it comes to the payment we were thinking about a subscription model for several months.

In addition we thought that with the solution above foreigners in Switzerland are able to get in contact with new products and broaden their culinary horizon. Therefore firstly we are interested in how foreigners think about this idea and if they would appreciate this kind of service? And if you like this idea how much money you are willing to pay every month?

Thanks for your honest feedback
I am not sure if this is a joke or not.
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