Food Swings: Delivering Delicious Frozen Meals You Just Heat Up



Mon, 08 Aug 2016 - 03:22 GMT


Mon, 08 Aug 2016 - 03:22 GMT

Too busy to cook daily? Food Swings has the answer: Pre-prepared frozen meals that you can just heat up.

by Noha Mohammed

When Dina El Gendy Noha El Ghazaly met at the Culinary Training Center, they quickly realized they shared one common passion: “We all have a passion, a determination to provide high-quality food services in Egypt,” says El Ghazaly, one of the three co-founders of Food Swings. Specializing in frozen foods and TV dinners delivered straight to your door, the team “believe that having culinary credentials such as cooking techniques, skills, food safety and hygiene is a must to be able to reach our goals,” adds El Ghazaly. We caught up with the team to talk about food and cooking, and their future goals.

How did you come up with Food Swings?

The idea behind Food Swings is to provide a food solution platform to answer the common question: “what are we going to eat today?” Our main goal is to facilitate the daily life of people who are looking for good-quality hygienic food and are too busy to cook daily — whether they are busy moms, lazy cooks, no-cook persons, singles living on their own or passionate food lovers.

In the initial planning for the project, it was clear that offering frozen products would be best to meet the overall project goal. That being said, we needed to eradicate any stigma around frozen products in terms of quality of ingredients, freshness, flavors and variety of products. Thus, at Food Swings we use high-quality ingredients from reputable suppliers, vacuum-seal the majority of our products to preserve freshness, develop new flavors and tasty products, use modern cooking techniques to preserve nutritional value of ingredients and introduce new products to the Egyptian market that are locally manufactured and not exported.

When we first launched the project, we started with a few sections of our original menu which are frozen-on-duty, pizza madness and indulging treats, in addition, to the oriental jar. Currently, we have launched a new product line of frozen-onduty meals, frozen heat-and-eat meals, as well as the playful condiments.

Food Swings offers pane and kofta, but everything else on the menu is international, fusion or even exotic. What tastes are clients looking for?

Almost all Egyptian households consume traditional Egyptian food regularly; however, people sometimes need to change and deviate from the norm. We are trying to diversify the options that people have for everyday meals; we offer some classic crowd pleasers such as Chicken panee and chicken nuggets, macaroni bechamel and veggies moussaka. Yet we offer those traditional and classic options with our signature of flavors. In addition to Egyptian families who might need a change from traditional Egyptian food, there is also a segment of the population such as youth and expats looking for more international alternatives. Thus, we have options such as ravioli, lasagna, Mexican chicken wraps, chicken sweet and sour heat-and-eat meals and so on. Were you at first worried that a service like Food Swings might not take off?

We had our worries at the beginning and still do because we have big plans for Food Swings. Many of the new generations are not interested in cooking and not willing to devote time to it, especially if they are working moms. Some of those housewives rely on food suppliers like Food Swings and others tend more to rely on home helpers and cooks who come at home and even who sell their products from home.

The project has only been running for seven months yet we have reached quite a considerable percentage of our target audience, which comprises Egyptian households with a busy mom or a no-cook mom, singles living on their own, passionate food lovers who love to try out new products and expats living in Egypt. That said, is only seven months of operation and thus we cannot say that we have filled any of those segments. The market and competition are aggressive and it needs a lot of marketing to fill those segments.

In addition to giving people the opportunity to sample new flavors, what gives Food Swings an edge?

Our heat-and-eat meals can be stacked in the freezer for up to two months. This makes your meals readily available at hand anytime and would take less than the delivery time to be heated in a microwave. Our edge is convenience. Food Swings products are handy all the time. You can have your meal anytime of the day. Also, it is convenient for people traveling during the summertime and who have few options for healthy delivery. Time of preparation in the microwave is less than the delivery time and our pricing policy of the heat-and-eat meals ensures it is below that of the meals offered at comparable restaurants. We also have a diversity of options and will be offering comfort specialty meals on a monthly basis. How do you decide on your recipes?

The three of us are certified chefs. We design our menu and develop our recipes. The process of recipe development is always documented with various trials and different branded ingredients and after few to several iterations we decide on the recipe to be adopted and which brands or suppliers we’ll be going with. This recipe then gets incorporated into our recipe cookbook to ensure consistency. We test the market and take feedback regularly from customers to help us to adjust and design new menu items, ensuring that we fulfill needs for every lifestyle.

Where do you buy your ingredients and how do you ensure they are properly frozen to guarantee nutritious meals?

We buy our ingredients from reputable wholesale suppliers. Almost all our ingredients are locally produced and they are bought fresh.

We have a delivery schedule by location just to make sure that orders far from our central kitchen are spread throughout the week. For example, all orders in Heliopolis and Nasr City are delivered on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

What’s been your star meal so far?

Top-selling items are nuggets, Mexican hawawshy and pizza. However, we have recently introduced new products, as well as the heat-and eat product line and we can anticipate that some, like our lasagna, veggies moussaka and ravioli, will be top sellers as well.

What’s next for Food Swings?

Next we’ll be launching our products in supermarkets and expanding our services into a B2B business model.



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