“We want it all — and we want it delivered” could be the motto of 2019. As we are in our prime (thanks, Amazon) of convenience, we have created innovative ways to adapt to our busy lifestyles, or just give us more time to ourselves. Online retailers like Amazon give us two-day (and even one-day) delivery options. Favor runs our own errands for us. Uber Eats can have something on our doorsteps within minutes. Just with our fingertips, we can click around on a censored screen and summon almost anything to our door.
Even though online shopping has been around for over a decade, the world of deliveries has expanded into a whole different dimension. The latest addition is grocery delivery and meal-kit delivery services that make specific recipes with the perfect amount of each ingredient so that the consumer simply has to take it out of the box and cook it — easy peasy.
Over the last few years or so, the grocery delivery market has expanded (or more appropriately put: exploded), and it is likely to keep growing. According to the Food Marketing Institute, every U.S. household is estimated to be spending around $850 annually online for food and beverages by 2022. In addition, the Institute estimates that “70 percent of U.S. consumers will regularly purchase consumer packaged goods online” within the next five to seven years. Even Forbes mentions how online grocery sales are going to reach $100 billion by 2025. This growing phenomenon of online grocery shopping is here to stay.
A full-time mother with a full-time career, Sara Reed first started using online grocery delivery services a year and a half ago because the convenience aspect of it appealed to her.
“The benefits of delivery, I guess, are awesome, or obvious and awesome,” she says.
Since her children either have homework or sports practices in the evening, it’s difficult to make time for grocery shopping, Reed says.
“Needing to get stuff done or whatever that family time entails,” Reed pauses, “having the delivery certainly allows that to happen more.”
Over the last year and a half of Reed using the app-based grocery delivery service, Instacart, she has noticed that having her groceries delivered right to her door saves her about an hour to an hour and a half per week of time that she reallocates to spend with her family.
“It’s a pretty big convenience,” Reed says. “It’s hard to not use it after you’ve gotten used to it.”
Now, Reed says it only takes her about 15 to 20 minutes to check out an order on the app — a significantly smaller amount of time than it would take to grocery shop in-store.
“We’re creatures of habit, and Instacart just feeds that because it’s all right there in front of me,” Reed says. “I can just click a little checkmark, yes, yes, yes, yes.”
Even though grocery delivery services give her extra time, Reed says it does come with a considerable price tag.
“I see it as that I’m paying a premium, trading off for time,” she says.
Some weeks, Reed uses HEB Curbside Pickup because she finds it to be cheaper and still a way to save time, but not as much time that is saved with grocery delivery services.
“Delivery started to make me wonder how I used to find time to go grocery shopping,” Reed laughs.
Reed isn’t the only one who has taken advantage of grocery delivery. According to Business Insider, “market value [for grocery delivery] has doubled from 2016 to 2018, suggesting that consumers are starting to get more comfortable ordering essentials and certain foods online.”
As the market for grocery delivery services continues to grow, so does the competition. In a bustling city like Austin, there are so many different services to choose from. Here is a breakdown of some services that are available to the Austin metroplex.
Farmhouse Delivery – Amazingly unique from other grocery delivery services, FD delivers local and organic produce. In addition, the Austin-based service also focuses on sustainability and utilizes reusable bins and bags to make deliveries. FD offers different sizes of produce boxes as well as meal-kit boxes that are all full of local, organic and Texas-sourced foods.
InstaCart – One of the frontrunners in the grocery delivery industry is Instacart, which is a grocery delivery service where someone shops for you and can bring your weekly groceries right to your door. Instacart is a service that can pick up food and supplies from almost anywhere. Offering deliveries from stores such as Sprouts, Natural Grocers, CVS and HEB, Instacart is a pinnacle of grocery delivery convenience.
Amazon – Leading the delivery world in general, Amazon actually began offering grocery delivery services in 2007 when AmazonFresh was founded. Now, AmazonFresh is a subscription-based service paying monthly. Also, since Amazon obtained Whole Foods in 2017, the AmazonFresh market now includes products from 365 Everyday Value Brand. Offering a variety of delivery times, AmazonFresh was made for the everyday busy bee.
Couch Potato ATX – Beer + Wine = Now deliverable. Since 2012, Couch Potato ATX is Austin’s first beer and wine delivery service that now also offers a variety of snacks, sweets and treats. Housing a variety of beers from Austin’s favorite local picks to regular domestics, CPATX has everything an Austinite could ask for. Now, when you see the ice start to melt and the beers running out during game day, you don’t have to leave your friends to pick up some more.
* Stores such as HEB, Target, Walmart and Sprouts also have their own in-house delivery services. Visit store websites to see if they deliver to you!