Brett Camilleri is a PhD candidate in the School of Design.
As food services evolve and expand into online channels, no longer do customers need to visit grocers to grab what is needed for dinner. Online Food organisations such as HelloFresh, Marley Spoon, Blue Apron and so on offer an alternative in the form of Food boxes; these boxes are conveniently delivered to home, containing both ingredients and recipes that customers can use to cook dinner for 3 or 5 nights a week. The provision of exact quantities of ingredients in addition to the pre-decided, dietician planned meals mean that much of the meal planning is taken out of the user’s process, all with the convenience of not having to leave the house. But in the process of using this service, users sacrifice personal freedoms and preferences for convenience and knowledge offered by the business. While for some this may be considered a worthwhile trade-off, others (especially those with allergies or religious food requirements) may find that these benefits are not worth sacrificing their version of dinner. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to understand how co-creative practices might be implemented into the online food service models, in the hopes of then conceptualising a method that allows customers a degree of control over how the service is offered to them. By doing so, this allows users to take back control of their dinner processes, whilst still retaining the specialist knowledge, health factors and convenience offered by the food services.