School lunch plan key for Seven & I

JIJI

Seven & I Holdings Co. will launch a nationwide school lunch delivery service for elementary and junior high schools, Chairman Toshifumi Suzuki declared.

The company, which currently only dispatches such meals to five junior high schools in Yokohama, aims to increase daily delivery orders for boxed meals, including for schools and the elderly, to around 100,000 in fiscal 2016, Suzuki said Friday.

The move would boost the firm’s meal deliveries by three to four times and comes as schools are phasing out on-site lunch services amid falling enrollment and the nation’s stubbornly low birthrate.

“Responding to changing times will be a key for success,” Suzuki said.

Seven-Eleven Japan Co., the holding company’s convenience store arm, started boxed meal delivery services in 2000. As of the end of October, it was delivering such meals to around 450,000 customers, mainly older people living on their own.

In May last year, Seven-Eleven Japan began offering free delivery for clients who order products costing ¥500 or more. Convenience store boxed meals are prepared at factories, to keep down costs and ensure a minimum standard of quality.