What is it, and do you need it?
Shopping for fruits and vegetables is not for everyone. Some like the hunt. Catching the earliest batches in their local supermarket, know every name, feeling and smelling every ingredient. Then there are those who get cilantro and parsley mixed up. But there are those who genuinely find it tedious. They could do without the drive, the parking, the long queues, and the awkward social interaction with the general public.
Buying proteins (fish, chicken, beef, etc.) are much easier. Spoilt proteins are easy to spot and even easier to smell. Once you get them home you don’t have to worry about them for months when you store them in a freezer. Fruit and veg don’t have that advantage. Freezers ruin them. You have no choice but to look for the freshest ones available from the store or market, and consume all of them within weeks when stored in the fridge. The first part is not even that easy, you have to learn from experience.
There must be a solution!
Thankfully in this age of mobility and services, there is. You can have someone else do all the leg work for you! You literally just ask what you want, and just sit and wait. Trained staff members pick out the freshest ingredients you ordered from their large storage, wrap them all up, and have them delivered to your door step. All this for a fee of course.
Fruit and vegetable delivery have been around for a while. They make sense as a business. Although food and vegetables don’t last very long they are also much more energy efficient to store. Keeping them fresh is relatively easy and cheap, and many of the delivery companies also have their own farms as well. As a result you get the freshest produce at a lower price. You’ll also spend less time in the shops, more time for your family and friends, and get a better tasting stir fry too.
All looks good so far
Yes, all so far looks promising. You might be tempted to just do an internet search for your nearest fruit and vegetable delivery service. But before you jump on it let’s weigh in on the pros and cons.
- If you don’t know how to pick the freshest ingredients, trained staff can do it for you. This is one of the most convenient aspect to a vegetable delivery service. But look for competent delivery companies with a good track record. These days many of them have a social media page like Facebook or Twitter. There you can find many real customers giving them feedback, and you can see how well (or not) they respond to customer complaints if there are any.
- They may have convenient combos. Many of these fruit and vegetable delivery companies prepare combos and sets for you to choose. They can be based on serving amount, nutritional value, variety, or even recipe. You run less risk of over-stocking which saves you money in the long run and you always get to work with fresher ingredients.
- They’re online! You can do your shopping pretty much anywhere with a mobile data signal. Imagine that you’re out with your friends late at night when all the shops are closed. Suddenly you remember that you haven’t done your vegetable shopping! Other things can wait, but if you want the best selections at the market you have to get up early and be one of the first to rake up all the good stuff. But with online shopping, you can just pick ones from their website, make your payment, and wait for tomorrow. Being online also saves you time and fuel expenses.
- For some varieties of vegetables they may be cheaper. Unlike supermarkets and local farmers markets they have a lower running cost. Fruit and vegetable delivery companies have nearby farms or even their own that they can harvest from (this saves on transport expenses), and their storage facilities do not have to be super low temperature. Plus they do not need large buildings to cater for customer foot traffic. What you get are cheaper prices without the compromise in quality.
So now you know what the plus sides are, let’s balance out this argument by looking at some of the potential negatives that you might get.
- You have no direct control over your order basket. Of course you pick whatever you want from a catalogue, but without you being physically there you can’t control what goes into your purchase basket. Those who like the thrill of searching the best by themselves would likely forgo this service. If you still like the convenience, you just have to trust the company.
- There may be mistakes when handling your order. These companies can receive hundreds of orders a day and ever so rarely mistakes can happen. You might receive the wrong amount or even an order that’s meant for another person. This is where a communicative company comes in handy. Different companies handle this problem differently. Some give full refunds, others may arrange a replacement. Check with your delivery company of choice.
- You need to plan more ahead. As you are hiring a service you are bound to their schedules. You can order anytime you want, but you may only receive them when it comes time to deliver. Depending on the company you may also cancel your order, but this can only be done before the delivery. Check with your company of choice for their delivery times and cancellation policy.
- The product prices may be cheaper, but that may be offset by the delivery fee. Most companies charge quite a sizeable delivery fee, and a lot of them are fixed according to the amount being ordered. You may be able to arrange a pick up to save some money, but do check their location and policy.
Having your fruits and vegetables delivered can be a matter of preference. Some may argue that the culinary skill of ingredient selection can be dulled by having someone else do it for you, but they are great time savers and are essentially farmers markets without the hassle.