The Pros and Cons of Using a Grocery Service

While there are hundreds of little conveniences that we are willing to pay for in our modern era, some are more widely accepted than others. One convenience that is exploding lately has been grocery services. In fact, Supermarket News estimates that a third of all shoppers are now visiting the cereal aisle and the freezer section online! However, this practice has been met with mixed reviews. When considering whether or not to jump on the grocery services bandwagon, there are several important pros and cons to acknowledge.

1. Convenience
In the UK, the average person visits the grocery store 247 times a year. With that in mind, one of the most obvious pros of using a grocery service is the convenience. A grocery service allows you to shop from the comfort of your home and have your groceries delivered to your front door. No more grocery trips with a toddler vying for attention in the grocery-cart seat and no more late-night grocery trips that allow you to shop when the kids are already in bed.

2. Service Opportunities
A grocery service can also be a way to serve family members or friends who are unable to shop for themselves. A grocery service allows you to send groceries to a recovering friend or take care of an aging parent, even if that friend or parent lives states away.

3. Tracking and Budgeting
Another pro of using a grocery service is the ease with which you can track and budget your groceries. Since everything is online, it is very easy to keep track of your family’s eating patterns, plan weekly schedules, and stick to healthier choices. The service also allows you to easily see all your regular purchases and budget accordingly.

1. Lost Personal Connection
For many of us, a trip to the grocery store is about more than simply acquiring sustenance for another week. A trip to the grocery store may mean running into and catching up with neighbors. Grocery shopping also can be a time to connect to our community, hear about news, or even make new friends, bonding over where to find the cherries that are on sale. Removing these trips to the grocery store means a loss of the personal connection and community that such trips facilitate.

2. Lost Individualization
A grocery service removes your ability to choose products like produce or meat based on your own preferences. Perhaps you like your avocados underripe or you want to choose chicken cutlets sized to go well with a specific recipe. This sort of individualization is lost with a grocery service.

3. Cost
According to research from Morning Consult, two-thirds of all U.S. online grocery shoppers either do not want to pay for delivery or would only pay $5 or less for it. That downside of grocery services is a significant reason why grocery services, despite their growing popularity, still only account for about 2% of the grocery market share. In fact, most people only want to use a grocery service if it will save them money. For some families, these new grocery services are a saving grace, but they come with a price.

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