As of July 16th, more than 27 railway stations in China are offering on-demand food delivery to passengers passing through on high-speed trains. The service, offered via an official website or the China Railway app, includes delivery to passengers in their seats aboard trains. To receive the delivery service, passengers must order at least two hours prior to passing through the station, with a current maximum of 50 meals to be dispensed per train.
Food delivery companies in Asia have incredible market penetration and mobile food delivery companies worldwide, like Foodpanda from Germany, are proving they can enter new markets and grow tremendously. With this growth comes not only novel on-demand services, but also the expanding reach and influence of those firms’ approach to business: that is, their policies regarding food waste, packaging, procurement, governance, and employment among others. As the ever-growing deluge of on-demand services push out traditional consumption and production systems, what unforseen socio-environmental effects might emerge? Will these modern technophilic business models alter our notions of consumption, waste, and even our economic system at large? What further characteristics and impacts might this emerging system have?