I do see that this is the trend of the future, some airlines are doing it already. IMHO, there are a few reaons why this is something that many airlines will do.
As airlines continue to pinch pennies in order to raise the bottom line, offering BOBs is already what most airlines is doing. By preparing the meals based on pre-flight orders, the airlines can save cost by limiting the possible waste of unbought meals at the end fo the flight.
For some passengers, BOB are acceptable, especially if there are priced reasonably and are of quality. With preflight sales options available, I am sure there would be promotions and sales that will encourage many passengers to buy the food before the flight versus on the flight. As such price will go down, and more pax will be more attracted to buy the BOBs.
Customer Satisfaction - Better food quality:
We all know the general public perception of free airline meals. The problem with providing high quality BOB meals for the airlines is the waste at the end of a flight if the meal is not bought, therefore, as of now many airlines offer simple snackboxes or cold sandwiches or cold meals that can be heated up to be served. Many passengers do not find these options to be worth the money that they are paying and they are not satisfied with these options. If pax can order meals online preflight, airlines can prepare perishable items based on these orders, and pax can have real hot meals which the airlines dont have to worry about throwing away since everyone will buy them has already said so.
Customer Satisfaction - Variety of choices:
Imagine having 20 BOB meals to choose from. Under the current system it will be very hard to achieve since the risk of unbought meals is too great with so many variety of choices. However, with preflight order made available, airlines can offer many choices and only load the ones that pax will go and order. Win-win. The only problem with this is that maybe only airlines hubs' kitchen can offer these kind of service as suppose to the line destination due principle of economics of scale.
Actually many airlines are already doing to-order service on premium classes (F,C). I know among them are CX
. I am sure there are many more. There will be systems to be worked out, but I think this might be the way of the future. Air Asia also has preflight BOB sales made available to their pax, and boy looking at those pictures make me want to go eat them already, and to me they are way more inviting than $6 cold turkey sandwich with nothing more than turkey slices, cheese, two leafs of lettuce and a ranch sauce.