The Expanding World of Food Delivery

The Lempert Report
July 31, 2015

How can supermarkets keep consumers interested in cooking at home with the ever expanding world of food delivery?

With everyone competing for consumer attention, food delivery seems ever expanding. Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Instacart and Uber are all fighting for grocery delivery, and now some big fast food chains are testing the waters.   For example, Taco Bell launched their delivery service in a few cities, and Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Chipotle and Starbucks are currently testing delivery models. But with all this competition, we can't help but wonder, what will be the health implications of countless food delivery options?  

There's no denying that consumers are busier than ever and we tend to increasingly rely on new technologies to make life more convenient. According to the latest BLS statistics, more than 60 percent of households include two working parents, in a busy work week, a variety of options for food delivery is no doubt appealing.  But we also  know that many people still try and make time to cook. Findings from our 2014 SupermarketGuru-NGA Consumer Survey shows that 42 percent have been cooking more in the past two years, and 89 percent eat home-cooked meals at home three or more times a week. In addition, the survey found that 79 percent eat takeout or delivered foods three times monthly at most.

So while fast food giants are getting in the delivery game and we have busier than ever families, we also have a significant amount of people putting more time into cooking and eating at home. It's here that supermarkets can really step in and appeal to shoppers as they weigh up their time and ability to shop and cook,  versus a quick call to their closest fast food chain. Are customers motivated to cook and eat healthier, but time is their biggest obstacle? Approach these potential “delivery” shoppers proactively with more “boxed ingredient” recipes. Offer a tool on your delivery page or in a store app that basically asks, “What would you like to eat this week? Click on this recipe, and your shopping list is automatically added. You’ll save money and reduce waste.” And add this…”Here’s what you can do with the leftovers…”. Or even for those with a little more time,  cooking demos, tastings, dietitian talks…events that keep them focused on the personal benefits of preparing your own food.

Supermarkets are challenged now, more than ever, to retain shoppers’ interest. But the good news is, customers are interested, and supermarkets are certainly equipped to help, it just means finding more innovative ways to bring fresh food to their doorstep.