Online shopping is growing by leaps and bounds, and people aren’t just buying gadgets and clothing over the web. More and more people are hopping on the internet to buy groceries and other food items. And according to a Nielsen report, that trend is going to continue to grow, with 70% of American households expected to do online food shopping within the next decade. It used to be you could only buy packaged food over the internet, but with next-day shipping, you can just about any food item now, including fresh foods such as produce and meat.
Being able to buy food over the internet is something that’s been around almost since the internet itself. However, it’s only within the past few years that you have been able to buy more fresh food. Companies have sprung up offering fresh produce and other fresh items, including prepackaged fresh meals. Most grocery stores, even small independent ones, are starting to offer online ordering and delivery, which means you can get fresh food in a couple of hours without even leaving the comfort of your own home. This of course is an easier prospect when it comes to fresh food that doesn’t have to be refrigerated and does not spoil quickly, such as many kinds of fruits and vegetables. It is a bit more tricky when you buy meat online.
With meat, seafood or any other kind of fresh protein, you are up against a clock. Meat has to be refrigerated or frozen, and even when it’s refrigerated, it has a shorter shelf life than many other foods. If you choose to buy meat online from your local grocery store, this is less of a problem, because it can be picked up or delivered in a day or less.
Online meat sales have been around for a long time, but people buying bulk meat online usually had to buy it either frozen or freeze dried, which reduces the quality. Combining the U.S.’s insatiable appetite for meat — Americans consume about 200 pounds annually per person — with the ease of ordering it online and getting it delivered is likely to make more people buy meat in bulk that is fresh from an online retailer or from their local store or butcher shop that offers online ordering.
Being able to buy meat online as well as other food items is just one more convenience that the internet has brought to consumers, and it’s one more battle that brick-and-mortar retailers will have to fight.