What Is Driving The Growth Of Fresh Meat Delivery Services?
There is no question about it: how North Americans eat is changing, and so is the way they shop for food. Supermarkets, long the dominant force in the Canadian and American food industries, are still the main source for shoppers, but they are facing growing and fierce competition from smaller grocery delivery services and other specialized, tech-savvy options.
Plenty of people are still cooking at home — they just aren’t doing it the way they used to, with the same foods they used to. Instead, more and more Canadians are choosing to order their food — and especially their meat — through fresh delivery services. But why is this?
As Lifestyles Evolve, So Do Markets
In large part, the answer has to do with how new technologies and larger demographic trends have influenced how we buy groceries. Food trends come and go, but how North Americans purchase their food remained fairly stable for most of the post-war era. The rise of the automobile and the expansion of the suburbs meant that most consumers no longer bought groceries from local shops, and the affluent societies of the 1950s and 1960s developed new attitudes toward food itself.
Shoppers prized name brand processed foods (which at the time were often associated with prosperity and aspiration), and breakthroughs in food preservation, both in terms of preservatives and in terms of appliances like refrigerators, meant that picking up groceries became a once-a-week activity: shoppers would drive to the supermarket, purchase the items they needed for the next few days, load them up in their car, and drive home.
The underpinnings of this economic system began to erode in the last years of the 20th century, when the twin forces of urban renewal and environmental awareness called many of the assumptions that the mid-century system relied on. What if living in the suburbs and driving everywhere wasn’t the best way to live? What if factory farming was bad for the planet, and heavily processed foods were bad for our health?
What started as a counter-cultural movement gained traction in the 21st century, and, fuelled by the information boom that the Internet ushered in, and has gone on to become the common-sense consensus: local, naturally raised food is preferable to heavily processed factory farmed alternatives, and having food delivered through bespoke services is more efficient and desirable than shopping at vast supermarkets on the edge of cities.
These dynamics have dovetailed in the explosion of premium meat delivery services like truLOCAL, which bring together the convenience of modern urban living with the desire for local, sustainably raised meat options.
Growing Awareness, Changing Tastes
One of the key things that makes delivery services appealing, especially for younger shoppers, is their ability to synch up seamlessly with the rhythms and values of modern life. Studies show that Millennials are far more health conscious than their parents, and also tend to be more curious about how their food was raised and where it comes from. Because Millennials grew up with the Internet, and are far more likely to be sceptical about health claims and distrustful of advertising, they have gravitated toward providers who can offer evidence to back up claims about their food.
For this reason, Millennials tend to be far more invested in eating local food, and equipped with a greater understanding of how industrial agriculture has produced less nutritious food that is damaging to the environment, they also tend to seek out food from local producers that has been minimally processed.
But young shoppers who learn about our meat delivery services also tend to be drawn in by the convenience of the service itself. With truLOCAL, eating responsibly is actually easier than stopping by the local supermarket. Here’s how it works:
- Selection: You start by choosing which size order you want ($125 for a small box containing up to 18 portions, $249 for a large box containing up to 40 portions) at which point you are given a set number of points to build your box. Each truLOCAL product is assigned a certain number of points, so you can either choose to purchase a large order of cheaper cuts, a smaller order of premium cuts, or a mix of both.
- Frequency: Once you’ve chosen what you want, you have the option of setting up a repeating order. Repeating orders will be delivered to your home at regular intervals (once a month, twice a month, or three times a month), and your account will be automatically charged each time, so you don’t need to worry about renewing your order every couple of weeks. Should you decide to cancel your order, you can do so at any time — or you can simply choose to skip an order if you are out of town or haven’t used up last month’s order yet.
- Delivery: truLOCAL delivers in refrigerated boxes, you don’t need to worry about being home to receive your order in person. Our deliver staff can leave it at your home, with your apartment building’s concierge, or even at your gym.
So, for example: if you want to order fresh chicken online with the truLOCAL service, all you need to do is select your order size, and then select the particular chicken products you’d like. We offer whole chickens, breasts, thighs, wings, ground chicken, and two varieties of chicken sausage, so there is no shortage of options! If just want to try the service to see whether you like it, you can set it as a single order, or you can set up a monthly delivery right away. Either way, we’re confident you’ll want to come back for more!
Across the food industry, major players are starting to realise how profoundly things have changed, and are scrambling to adapt to the new reality. Companies that had achieved near-total dominance of their market share are looking for ways to respond to this sea-change in consumer behaviour, while customer-centric models like that of truLOCAL continue to win customers who are looking for a better way to shop. If you want to discover for yourself why truLOCAL’s fresh meat delivery service has become so popular, start building your own box today!