A big question in home delivery has been, when are groceries going to catch up with online books, clothes, and shoes? For a long time, the costs and logistics has kept the perishable food and beverage deliveries lagging other e-commerce efforts. Others have said, shoppers haven’t gotten over the perceived hurdle that fresh groceries shouldn’t be delivered.
According to a recent Business Insider Intelligence report, only about 1% of all U.S. consumers do their grocery shopping online.
Despite that, many start-ups have ignored the barriers, and have innovated their way onto shoppers tables — By offering a service that brick and mortar is not. Companies like Plated, Blue Apron, and Sun Basket deliver all the pre-proportioned fresh ingredients for shoppers to cook chef-inspired meals in their kitchens.
Perhaps these innovative offerings are part of the reason why online grocery sales are forecast to grow at a 21.1% compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2018, to nearly $18 billion. While traditional grocery sales are expected to grow only 3.1% annually during the same period based on the same report by Business Insider Intelligence.
More competitive ideas in food delivery will accelerate food delivery growth. The question is: Will more traditional retail get in the food delivery game? And will shoppers see a time when food delivery is as normal as online shoe shopping?