Emerging TechnologyMobileUber Hong Kong Partners With Culinary Start-Up to Test On-Demand Services

Uber Hong Kong Partners With Culinary Start-Up to Test On-Demand Services

In partnership with a cook-your-own-dinner start-up, Uber is attempting to move beyond ride sharing in Hong Kong with an on-demand delivery services promotion.

Uber Hong Kong has partnered with boutique culinary start-up Secret Ingredient to test on-demand services that go beyond its traditional private car hire and ride sharing services.

The effort, which lasted for one day only, allowed Uber users in Hong Kong’s central and western island districts free delivery of ready-to-cook dinners when they ordered through the Uber app’s “Ingredient” option. The service was available for a six-hour window on the evening of October 22.

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While Uber is best known for its disruption to the car hire industry, the Secret Ingredient Hong Kong partnership echoes the company’s recent expansion into logistics, delivery, and other on-demand services in the U.S.

“Uber has a reputation for testing the market with little things to whet the appetite to then do something big,” says Napoleon Biggs, commercial director at Hong Kong-based Bolei.

“Can they get traction as a last-minute delivery service? That’s obviously what they’re trying to do. Because that’s the kind of brand it is – if you need something last-minute, come to us,” he continues.

Maximilian von Poelnitz, Secret Ingredient’s founder, says the response to the marketing effort had been tremendous. His kitchen had not been able to meet demand – doubling sales for a Wednesday night and experiencing 50 percent growth week-on-week on social channels after the campaign was promoted on Facebook and Twitter.

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“We do what we did today, everyday, but what we have managed to do today is leverage off Uber’s network and technology to get our fantastic product into people’s hands faster,” he says.

According to Biggs, Uber’s choice to partner with Secret Ingredient was part of a bigger strategy to target a certain clientele.

“This is not a volume game. Secret Ingredient is aimed at Hong Kong’s expatriate and higher-earning local communities,” he says. “The PR line here is the efficiency between private cars and consumers, coupled with a seamless billing experience.”

Uber’s Hong Kong move follows in the footsteps of other on-demand service launches that the brand has introduced this year, predominantly in the U.S. In April, UberRush was revealed in New York City, which acted as a courier service and vowed to let “your packages travel like VIP.” In August, Uber wanted to bring the neighborhood shop to Washington, D.C.’s doorsteps, in a corner goods delivery service dubbed UberEssentials. Uber also partnered with crisp brand Lay’s for a Picnic Promotion during the North American summer. 

Uber did not respond to a request for comment, but Von Poelnitz did not rule out a future longer-term partnership, telling ClickZ, “We will see what happens.”

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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