Digital Food Services

The Lempert Report
June 29, 2022

Phil: There's a new report, from the Brookings Institute that talks about data that reveals the geography of digital access in food in the us. One third of all US adults have used delivery apps to order from a restaurant or store in the past year. We know that it continues to go up. So what they did is they took Amazon fresh whole foods, Instacart, Uber eats, and Walmart data. 

Phil: Each of these companies, each of these organizations worked with them to really map it out so we could get a handle of what percentage of the US is covered by these delivery services. And top line 93% of America's population has access to rapidly delivered fresh groceries or prepared foods through at least one of the four platforms. Number one area is the New York Metro area. Number two is Los Angeles, long beach. Three, Chicago Naperville. Four, Dallas Fort worth, and Five is Houston. The list goes on, but when I read this, you know, what they really want to do is they really wanna talk about how food access for those people in food deserts can be improved, and this shows that it can be improved. But an idea came to me, what they point out is that even with all this access, even with the fact that a lot of people who are on snap have mobile devices, there's still about 17 million of people that do not. And what came to me and I'd love your opinion of this is if, if I was Amazon, I would go into these areas and I would put a food kiosk, you know, but something that somebody couldn't steal, you know, a touch screen. So it would allow people in these food deserts that don't have access to be able to order from Amazon, Amazon fresh whole foods. And they would instantly have another 17 million customers. What do you think? 

Sally: I think that's a great idea. You know, they have these Amazon delivery stations now, you know, we've got one right down the street at a convenience store. So this definitely seems like something that, that could happen. It's really amazing to me what we can do with technology. And you know, what we were talking about last week, about how Uber is helping get food aid to these really hard to get areas in the Ukraine. So if we can do that, then these 17 million people that are here in the US that don't have access, it seems like we can figure out a way to get them food as well. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, they'll make money at the same time. So this is not a difficult decision.