Grocery delivery services are a very curious market to me. I currently live in what is described as food desert. The nearest proper grocery market is a 30 minute bus ride away. The idea of having food, that I prepare, delivered seems a bit alien but the market for such products clearly and demonstrably exists. From grocery stores with their own delivery services, such as Jewel Osco and Mariano’s, to PeaPod, the most visible brand in Chicago, to even smaller companies such as Toronto based Urbany, it seems as though this growing market is primed for some intense competition in upcoming years. However, for now, while the market is growing, it might be good to learn some of the players.
One company seeking to carve out a niche in the market is Milk and Eggs, a small startup based out of Los Angeles. Similar to Urbany, Milk and Eggs isn’t nationwide. The company’s claim to fame is that it has a diverse selection of farm fresh crops and meats for their consumers to choose, all from the comfort of their homes.
Of the options that consumers have available, it’s a virtual cornucopia. With 6 main categories, along with 32 sub-categories on the website, specifying what you’re looking for is actually pretty simple. It also helps that the user interface is as simple as it is quick, and it’s easy to specify if you’re avoiding allergens or certain ingredients or animal by-products in general. That said, the selection in some categories is still growing. From the selections of vegetables, you’re offered huge farmer’s mix bags of produce, ranging from 10 to 20 lbs. All of the products are listed with images so consumers can see exactly what they’re getting. With the concerted effort to make sure their groceries are farm fresh, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, though they state they believe in their food “110%”.
From an economic standpoint, seeing as many of the brands and types of grocery are organic, the prices are on the higher end. One thing to note is that, at the time of writing this, there are a number of items marked down from their original prices to be more cost-effective for the thrifty shopper. Milk and Eggs does try to offset some of the costs by offering free delivery along with free memberships to the service. Scheduling orders is a simple matter of choosing weekly or bi-weekly deliveries and orders can be modified or cancelled at any time.
As far as being a helpful company, Milk and Eggs as a brand isn’t just trying to carve a niche in the market, they also seek to help the world around them. They offer up to 20% of their fresh food to food banks in the Los Angeles area, seeing it as an opportunity to “change the world,” as is a focal point for the brand.
Continuing on that line of thinking, Milk and Eggs as a company is very concerned with the environment. One of their selling points is based on research from the Oregon Department of Transportation, which presented evidenced that shared vehicle use had a positive effect toward reducing greenhouse emissions. With this in mind, their model calls for one central depot from which a driver gets their orders and makes deliveries along their route, similar to a milkman or paperboy.
With all that working for the company it’s easy to want to see them succeed. Milk and Eggs genuinely does seem to have their hearts in the right place, trying to address a growing market in an environmentally conscious way. Time will tell however, if they can really make an impact in the market.
Milk and Eggs and Everything You Eat by Santiago Rashad
The every-man of nowhere. EWU '15 Let's talk video games.