Without leaving the house, you can now order food online and have it delivered to your doorstep. Whether you are ordering groceries or meal kits, there are an increasing number of options available.
Some supermarkets allow you to order food online, for either delivery or pick up. Many grocers collaborate with Instacart, which uses a business model similar to Lyft and Uber to deliver groceries. There are even grocers that are purely internet based, such as AmazonFresh.
Meal Kit Delivery
There are increasing numbers of services that deliver meal kits. Companies such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh deliver ingredients and step-by-step recipes to prepare meals at home. Some grocery stores have also started offering their own meal kits. Some kits provide everything pre-cut and measured, while others require chopping and a bit more preparation. Some offer various food choices such as vegetarian or gluten-free.
Possible Health Impact of Ordering Food Online
- A few studies have shown that shopping online could reduce purchases of unhealthy foods, possibly because of fewer impulse purchases.
- Have you ever noticed grocery stores often put a big display of cookies and pastries right by the entrance? This sales technique may not be as effective online.
- Meal kit services can reduce the number of meals eaten from restaurants, which may be less healthy than home-cooked meals.
- Meal kits can build healthy cooking skills, which may eventually lead to more meals cooked at home, even without a meal kit.
- Food delivery could also improve access to healthy food.
- For example, it could help those with limited mobility, or those who live in areas without easy access to grocery stores.
Unfortunately, the cost of food delivery can be a barrier. The meal kits average $9-$14 per meal, and grocery delivery services have a fee as well (although grocery pick-up is usually free). But in spite of the cost, grocery and meal kit delivery is a growing market that has potential to save time, increase healthy food choices, improve food access, and improve cooking skills.