Cover CEO of Kin, Matt Reid, wants to change the way diners eat to save the planet (Photo: Kin)

Created by the founders of Maximal Concepts, Kin is showing the possibilities of a more sustainable way of dining

There’s no doubt that the climate crisis is reaching a critical point, and the fact is many of us can feel overwhelmed with the question of what we can do. For Matt Reid, co-founder of hospitality group Maximal Concepts and the CEO of Kin—a new platform that includes a soon-to-launch bricks-and-mortar food hall in Quarry Bay and an omnichannel food app—tangible changes can happen by changing the way we eat. However, this isn’t the same discourse that focuses on getting the masses to switch to an entirely plant-based diet. By targeting a more focused community (in the case of Kin, the tenants of the nine Swire Properties-owned buildings in Quarry Bay and the surrounding area’s residents) and prioritising the use of regeneratively farmed ingredients and minimising plastic waste, Kin hopes to reach a target goal of selling one million meals by the end of 2022 for a cumulative effect of saving 69.9 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The first step is the launch of the brand’s mobile app, which is available for download and pre-registration now. It plays a big part in the ecosystem of Kin, as not only is it the channel where users can view and order their dishes (at launch, Kin will feature more than 220 franchised recipes from more than 45 restaurant partners), but also consume beautiful content centred around the personalities behind each of the culinary creations. Among the notable contributors to the Kin ‘recipe cloud’ are Richard Ekkebus of Amber (who was set the challenge of creating an affordable, high-quality salad using locally farmed ingredients); homegrown venues and brands such as Roots, Sake Central, Cookie DPT and Years; and independent chefs from Hong Kong as well as around the region. Kin worked with every tastemaker to develop and translate their recipes to be cooked by the in-house team, ensuring that the majority of the ingredients used adhere to their strict charter of being regeneratively grown and local where possible. The target is to set the price of each dish to no more than HK$100, debunking the myth that good, nutritious and sustainably-minded food is disproportionately expensive.

“We made it our mission statement to create technologies that change the way we eat,” explains Reid. With the Kin app, diners can order up to 48 hours in advance, while a proprietary Enterprise Resource System allows for realtime calculation of food costs and adjustment of inventory according to sales data, to minimise waste. For deliveries, the platform will only deliver on foot, within a five minute radius, to the surrounding area; currently, takeaways and delivery items will be put into compostable bagasse packaging, with the aim to eliminate it entirely in favour of reusable packaging in a circular system by 2025. Because of the limited footprint, the food stays fresher and is delivered more quickly and with fewer fees compared to traditional delivery platforms.

These incremental changes will start to add up, and the team hopes that the model will be able to be applied to other communities and developments, not only within Hong Kong, but anywhere in the world. “Most of us will live in cities by 2050,” says Reid. “If a city changed its consumption pattern, we would fundamentally change the global consumption patterns of food, and those fundamental shifts would have all the net effect of being a resolution to climate change.”

Kin will officially launch its food hall in Devon House, Quarry Bay, in May 2022. Download and register for the app here 

Kin, 2/F Devon House,Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong; +852 5660 6740

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