As destructive as the COVID pandemic was to some industries, it gave life to others. It also gave a boost to a number of services that saw only modest growth prior to 2020. One service in particular is home delivery.
Home delivery wasn’t an outlier some four decades ago. Back then, everything from milk to cloth diapers and newspapers were delivered on a daily basis. All that seemed to come to an end at the start of the big-box department store era. But in recent years, home delivery has been making a comeback. COVID has given it a huge boost over the last two years.
So, what did you get delivered to your door during the pandemic? Here are just a few of the many possibilities:
Your Weekly Groceries
Grocery delivery began to emerge some 5 to 7 years ago when supermarket chains discovered they needed a way to compete with discount retailers who had decided to get into the grocery business. But prior to COVID, grocery delivery was considered a luxury.
Some two years later, grocery delivery is booming. Independent providers like Instacart are making a killing. Likewise, Kroger has decided to develop a fully online model in select states. People order online and then wait for the Kroger truck to arrive. It seems to be working.
Go back 50 years and you will find that food delivery was limited mainly to Chinese and pizza. Local family restaurants were not delivering everything on their extensive menus. Neither were chain restaurants. All that has since changed.
Restaurants of all types had to turn to home delivery just to survive during the pandemic. Shutdowns forced them into it. But now that restaurant delivery is so ubiquitous, everyone is doing it. Most deliver through a third-party service like Grubhub or UberEats.
Prescription medication delivery was another service that was big 40 years ago but eventually faded away. Now it’s back. In order to avoid physical contact, pharmacies and customers alike are more frequently opting for home delivery.
Along those same lines, medical cannabis delivery has experienced a pretty good boost over the last two years. Even in highly conservative states like Utah, regulators have come to grips with the reality that patients want and need home delivery. Utah’s Beehive Farmacy says delivery is still emerging there, but it is growing.
Pet Food and Supplies
Another industry whose delivery prospects have been boosted by COVID is that of pet foods and supplies. You can now order all sorts of things for your dog or cat, then sit back and wait for the big-box chain to deliver to your door.
Home delivery has proved so successful that a number of online-only suppliers have emerged alongside the big-box companies. They see no need to open brick-and-mortar stores when customers are just as content with home delivery.
Perhaps the most surprising of all is the home-delivered recipe kit. That’s right, friends. You no longer need to go to the grocery store – or take advantage of grocery home delivery – to get the ingredients you need to cook. Now you can order everything online. You get a complete meal kit in a box. Each box comes with all the ingredients and instructions you need to prepare a full meal.
As time goes by, there are seemingly fewer things you cannot get delivered to your front door. The possibilities are truly amazing. Whether or not that is good is another matter. Perhaps we need to be careful that we don’t turn ourselves into shut-ins who never leave the house.