Combining old conveniences with modern day technology
Although some wish they weren’t, parachute pants, bell-bottoms, and shoulder pads were all fads at one point. Marketers know that the idea of “what’s old is new” is a reoccurring theme in the constant looping of trends. This of course includes trends in all markets, not just fashion. One thing that hasn’t changed is the consumers’ need for convenience.
Back in the day milkmen would make their rounds every morning to deliver fresh milk to residents. Over time this early convenience faded out as the development of refrigerators eliminated the need. However, now with help from the Internet, the original concept of fresh milk delivery is being revived with companies such as Mr. Milkman who offers online ordering followed by a convenient home delivery.
Meanwhile, established companies such as Giant, Stop & Shop and The Schwan Food Company have been transforming the traditional model of brick-and-mortar stores with innovative concepts that satisfy the desire for convenience using modern day technology.
Schwan’s Home Delivery is an online frozen food service. In 1952 Schwan started out as a simple ice cream truck that would make its rounds to local residents. Since 2002 Schwan’s Home Services, a division of The Schwan Food Company, has expanded its line of products and adopted an online ordering system. The company also offers a mobile app to enhance the level of convenience and increase consumer experience.
A home delivery service known as Peapod delivers grocery products for Ahold banners Giant and Stop & Shop. Like Schwan’s Home Delivery, Peapod uses an online ordering system for consumers to purchase their groceries and set up a delivery right to their doorstop. A small additional fee is charged for the convenience. Peapod also provides a downloadable app. Mobile ordering and tracking enhances the consumers’ experience.
As a drive-through only c-store, The Cube offers a different spin on the idea of mobile convenience. Now those who want to pick up a gallon of milk on their way home can do so without leaving their cars. Consumers can pre-order their C-store items and have them waiting at the window.
Subscription food services have also been gaining popularity among time-strapped consumers. Companies like Plated, HelloFresh, PeachDish and the Blue Apron deliver ready-to-cook meals direct to consumers’ homes. However, their sometimes pricey and often limited options may be less appealing to choosey or frugal consumers.
Though the desire for convenience remains the same, new technologies have completely changed how it gets delivered. From the horse drawn carriage to the mobile app, the merging of the old and the new has made convenience simultaneously familiar and refreshingly new. The ever faster, easier way food makes it home has changed exponentially. And, for better or worse, consumer expectations have changed just as fast.