“Today, online groceries are legitimate businesses fulfilling about 1 percent of the nation’s $570 billion grocery bill. That may sound like a drop in the bucket, but business is expected to triple by 2008, according to Jupiter Research. Meanwhile, a report from the Food Marketing Institute reports that 5 percent of consumers — 3.7 million people — shopped online for groceries in the last year, up from 3 percent the year before.”
Shopping on-line for groceries was something that I had heard of but never tried so when www.wellnessgrocer.com came looking for volunteers at the GGG staff I happily offered myself up. I was curious to see if all the convenience that this promised would pan out and wondered if the shipping expense and materials would balance out the drive to and from the store.
As I perused the digital aisles, I remembered the years that I lived in a small and remote town with no access to organic foods and healthy snacks. Back then, I would drive for two hours to stock up on groceries for a month at a time – It would have dramatically changed my life to have on-line access to the foods I wanted to feed my family then. See this article – ‘Attention! Onlince grocery shopping is back’.
I am spoiled now. It isn’t just the abundance of organic vegetables and fruits that grow in the Willamette Valley and are available at open stands most days of the week but also the community of Natural Food stores that have made Eugene the place it is. For me, now food shopping is how I see my neighbors and slow down my day to think of sustenance.
There are conveniences and nice features of on-line shopping that I could see myself easily getting used to though- When you become a registered shopper, the site keeps track of your preferences. A nice way not to impulse shop and actually buy just what you need. Also there are great specials on the site if you are willing to stock up a bit.
I am glad to know that places like www.wellnessgrocer.com exist. They provide both great info for people learning about natural foods and access to organics to many places in the US that wouldn’t normally have them. This experience also made me realize how lucky we are when we have beautiful places to shop, to meet up with friends and to feel part of a community. Access to healthy organic food is not to be taken for granted.
See this Columns Campus News article about grocery shopping.