Would You Buy Fresh Foods Online? Three Things to Consider

would-you-buy-groceries-online-textAs Amazon continues to expand its online grocery offerings, and companies like Fresh Direct work to offer online ordering of fresh foods such as meats and produce, the question that comes to my mind is this:

Will we, at some point, do a majority of our grocery shopping online?

The idea is interesting. Imagine living in a rural area that doesn’t have a lot of availability when it comes to fresher foods or specialty items, like ethnic spices and herbs?

What about new parents, who are ultra-tired and may not feel like getting dressed, getting baby dressed, getting bundled up, and driving out to the store for a few days’ worth of groceries?

What about new parents, who are ultra-tired and may not feel like getting dressed, getting baby dressed, getting bundled up, and driving out to the store for a few days’ worth of groceries?

Older people, sick people, people who work a lot and don’t have time to go to the store: they might all benefit from an online ordering and delivery type of service.

So will it work?

For me, it’s a tough sell. I don’t mind grocery shopping. I want to see what I’m buying. I want to pick it up and smell it if its produce; take a look at the color if it is meats. I want to wander the aisles and come up with menu ideas as I go. Plus, we have several stores, farmer’s markets, and organic produce companies in our area.

But I do see the benefit. Fresh Direct offers New York residents local foods that can be ordered online and delivered. Local foods, to me, are always a benefit. AmazonFresh is trying something similar in Seattle soon.

If you do purchase fresh foods online, you might want to consider these three things:

  1. You can’t touch or smell the produce. As I said before, this is huge for me. I want to be able to make sure the produce doesn’t have bruises. Isn’t rotten. Feels ripe or at least almost ripe enough to eat. I do, however, order a bag of organic produce from local farms. I don’t see it before I pay for it. It is always good, though. I would be willing to take the chance on produce online if the first batch turned out yummy and the prices were right, especially if this was local and/or organic.
  2. Coupons. Of course, as a coupon user, I know I can generally purchase items on sale with coupons for cheaper than I can get them even when they are just on sale. Though not a stockpiler, I do try to keep one extra of the most used items in my pantry, like ketchup, mustard, mayo, and dressings. If I were to purchase online, could I use coupons? If not, would the price be cheaper than it would be in a store on sale with coupons? If this matters to you, you’ll need to do more research. On the flip side: if the prices are low enough and you aren’t driving someplace, you are saving both wear and tear on car AND gas – that savings might make up for the inability to use coupons. As a side note: Amazon DOES offer a coupon section on their website; clip and then they appear when you pay.
  3. Return policies. If you’re ordering a can of tomato sauce or a bag of rice online, chances are there’s not much that can go wrong. Fresh foods, though, are another story. What if you receive something that’s rotten, bruised, or otherwise inedible? How will you return it? Does the company return to pick it up and give you a replacement? Can they get it to you before you need to cook it?

What do you think? Would you order fresh foods like meat, seafood, or produce from an online vendor? What would you consider before doing so? Have you done so in the past?

Image via iStock

What do you think?

Would You Buy Fresh Foods Online? Three Things to Consider

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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2 comments

  1. EbyMom says:

    no way I will never order fresh produce on-line. I would like to see what am going to buy, see varieties. once purchased on line no return policies. so if it is stale you throw it away and it boils down to you going to the grocers.

  2. junemaria says:

    my co-worker’s ex-wife makes $66/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her pay check was $18077 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this web site…. w­w­w.f­o­x­8­6.c­o­m

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