The future of food: Online retailers offer fresh groceries straight to your door

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10 Aug 2017 --- As today’s busy lifestyles, work and family commitments lead to an increased need for convenience foods, many areas of the food sector industry are evolving. Even though consumers are often looking towards healthy food choices, there has never been an easier time to get what you want, delivered to where you want, in a matter of hours at just the click of a button. You can read the first part of this report here

Online retailers 
Ocado is another example of an online supermarket. In contrast to its main competitors, the British company has no chain of stores and does all home deliveries from its warehouses.

Ocado was launched in January 2000 as a concept and started trading as a business in partnership with Waitrose in January 2002. 

Since January 2014, Ocado has been delivering online groceries for one of their main grocery rivals Morrisons supermarkets, using Ocado's nationwide network of depots to deliver Morrisons groceries to online customers. 

HelloFresh is a multinational meal delivery service with a presence in several Western European and North American countries, as well as Australia. The company was founded in 2011 presents healthy options for meals made at home with recipes and fresh, organic ingredients. You can also opt for meat, meat-free or fish options and the boxes can be tailored to suit the family size, based on 2 or more family members. 

Meal kits have surged in popularity, mostly down to the fact that more people have busy lifestyles but they also want fresh, healthy, nutritious convenience food delivered via their app on their smartphones or other forms of technology.  This trend is mostly driven by millennials who want to cook from scratch but need to be inspired with the ingredients and recipes. 

Popular meal kit companies include Gousto, a British internet retailer, headquartered in London and SimplyCook, which is a subscription, based recipe box service also based in London. The company provides a monthly box containing four recipes and four non-perishable ingredient kits that are then added to fresh ingredients the subscriber purchases from the supermarket. SimplyCook recipes have been developed by professional chefs, so consumers can have delicious, meals cooked at home without the fuss of eating at a restaurant. 

In a move to sell fresh and quality foods to their customers, Amazon and Whole Foods Market, Inc. entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for US$42 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $13.7 billion, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt, back in June this year. 

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthily,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, and CEO. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”

“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder, and CEO. You can read the full story here

As of 9 Aug 2017, the fifth Whole Foods Market 365 opened in Santa Monica, CA at 2121 Cloverfield Blvd at Pico. 

The vibrant 30,000-square-foot space takes “neighborhood grocery store” to the next level with its mix of affordable grocery items, unique venues and retail innovations for customers seeking convenience and value. The store will offer high-quality products without any artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives.

“Whole Foods Market 365 is all about the easy everyday shop – whether you’re meeting a friend for dinner and a glass of wine, stocking up on groceries for the week, or grabbing food to go, this store has a blend of fun foodie finds and convenience,” said Jeff Turnas, president of Whole Foods Market 365. “Our Santa Monica store is a great example of the evolution of the 365 brand and we’re thrilled to bring this neighborhood a new place to shop and hang out.”

By Elizabeth Green

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