Penang’s own farm-to-table delivery service
Produce or grocery delivery service in Malaysia is quite a niche market segment. While gaining traction at a faster rate in the United Kingdom and is a popular online shopping category in South Korea, in South East Asia it is yet to gain as much popularity and recognition. Not for the lack of internet or infrastructure, online fruit and vegetable delivery — or online grocery shopping in general — are not as much of a buzz in this part of the world. Big supermarkets have offered such a service, albeit with varying (but most often limited) levels of success, and these are mostly done by a global supermarket chain with an online delivery service in their country of origins as well. Times are changing in this country as newer generations of shoppers and entrepreneurs are bringing change to the online shopping scene once again, and this time vegetable delivery service by small local farms are starting to crop up. A small number of small farms and stores have gone in and bit the bullet into the online grocery and produce delivery service, and one of them is BANSAN PENANG.
A very brief history
BANSAN PENANG is a small farm established on the island of Penang since 1928. Today the farm has been run for three generations and is still going strong catering for Penang citizens through their own physical retail store situated at the Batu Lanchang market, and currently also through online delivery service.
How BANSAN PENANG operates
Their ‘modus operandi’ is quite simple. Their farm is harvested daily every morning and each item of harvest are carefully prepared for delivery. Only the best are selected for the customers, and each one that have passed inspection are carefully trimmed, washed, weighed, and packed ready to be delivered. The vegetables that are delivered to the customers’ doors are usually harvests from their own farm that are usually no older than 24 hours.
For product diversity and keeping up with the demand of the Penang island population, they also acquire their products from other local sources as well. Their product catalogue contains a variety of local produce as well as some foreign varieties such as the Australian white potatoes. Quite recently they have expanded their product range to also include a selection of fruits such as seedless black grapes and Fuji apples.
Their delivery range covers the entire island of Penang. If you live in the mainland you may be out of luck as the delivery to the mainland is very limited. There will also be a delivery surcharge for the few areas on the mainland where they do deliver. This keeps demand in check and allows them to offer the best products without excessive markups.
How does it work?
The way BANSAN PENANG works online is quite simple and convenient for their customers. The first step is to go to their website bansanpenang.com. There you will create an account that will include all your basic information such as your name and e-mail address. Once that is done ordering cannot be any simpler especially if you have done online shopping in other platforms. Currently they offer their vegetables in combos, sets, and individual packages or ala-carte as they call it. The ala-carte option is a good choice if you favour a specific combination of your own choice, but the sets and combos may also interest you and the varieties offered can be more convenient. They are portioned and varied according to serving sizes, nutritional values, and also recipes.
You can navigate all the items through the various tabs and drop-down menus in the website and specify the amount you desire for each item. All item prices are clearly marked, and you may add them into your virtual shopping cart. For the ala-carte option all items are sold in 500g-600g bundles or in individual packets. Combos and sets come with a predetermined variety of vegetables and amounts.
Once you are satisfied with your purchase order you may begin the ‘checkout’ process which involves payment and setting up the delivery date. You will get an e-mail confirmation that will contain a payment form and instructions. For the sake of convenience for both parties currently the only payment option is through online banking, bank transfer, or bank deposit. No cash-on-delivery will be entertained as you would need to proceed with payment before your order can be processed, but they do have a very forgiving order-canceling policy. All orders may be canceled at any time before 8 am on your chosen delivery date, and a full refund will be issued no questions asked. Should you proceed with your order a processing and delivery time of at least 24 hours should be allowed and their delivery starts from 2 pm and ends at 6pm.
You may find more about the delivery fees, special requests and other information by going into their website or contacting them directly. They also have a Facebook account and are very responsive to feedback.