Non-traditional points of fresh food distribution continue to grow. The confluence of money, technology and consumers is a force much greater than legacy brick and mortar stores. Technology advances, the evolving food consumers combined with intense interest from the likes of Google chairman Eric Schmidt the future of food retail is entering a new era of dynamic change.
Could your local grocery store be replaced or become obsolete as fast as Kodak cameras have or tower records? Relay Foods raised $14.5 million dollars from venture capital firms including from Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures. The reason for the money Relay Foods has 35 locations in the D.C. area offering online ordering and food pick-up and plans to expand to 100 locations. Smaller footprints faster service Relay is not alone.
Giant Foods is turning gas stations into locations you can simply stop by and pick up your prepared food. You can order anything from a gallon of milk and to unlimited groceries. Not only do you not have to go shopping in the store when you pull up at the remote stations an employee will place all your food in your trunk.
Amazon will in some cities deliver directly to your home and Walmart and Kroger are also testing deliver and different online ordering systems. Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to expand. These new points of distribution with smaller footprints extend the brands value while maintaining or gaining customers.
While many of these current offerings require advance ordering some up to the night before it is clear that those times will diminish with increased usage. The confluence of money, technology and consumers is a force much greater than legacy brick and mortar stores. Where are your customers buying food today and where will they be picking it up tomorrow?