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Food Delivery Changed The Way We Eat

Jun 3, 2008
Ready to eat or ready to heat, these days with our much busier and more stressful schedules more Americans are ordering out, but in more ways than you think. In pre Cold War days, the milkman delivered daily as many quarts as a family needed. With larger families and limited perishable food storage, it often made sense to only possess the amount of the most perishables of perishables that you needed for one or two meals. After refrigerators and more importantly, refrigerated and frozen food trucks became far more common, all sorts of foods became common for home food delivery.

The most frequent item, after milk of course, that began the drive for home delivered food was pizza. Time consuming to make but easy to bake, a company called Schwans began delivering this item over much of the United States in the 1950s along with a substantial menu of frozen foods. No longer was a trip to the grocery store needed in order to enjoy your favorite entrees as ice cream as once a week friendly route drivers personally delivered right to your door. Steaks, frozen shrimp, frozen fried chicken were just some of the items that became highly popular because of the ease of ordering. Not only were some of the items competitively priced, but some items like the finest steaks and some brands of deserts and appetizers just werent ready made in grocery stores as mostly raw goods and ingredients were sold.

As time progressed, while grocers began carrying more sophisticated inventories than merely TV dinners, some competition for the most popular items came into focus, like hot pizza delivery. In early delivery days, local restaurants and pizza shops only delivered for special customers, bigger catering orders, and mostly patrons whom lived close by received service. However, a company named Dominos Pizza changed it all when it began from 2 stored to grow over 8000 stores worldwide. Granted, many other chains including Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and more began copying the model and an entire industry became big business.

At last, grocers got into the game in the 1990s, but not until the internet came into prominence in the mid 1990s have they been able to make a dent in either the frozen food and hot food delivery markets. Companies like Peapod and Simon delivers both operate in a similar manner whereas the customer orders from the online catalog of items and schedules a delivery time. During the tech boom, WebVan .com attempted to cut in on market share but during the tech bust, if folded as existing competitors were too strong to compete and demand wasnt all that heavy anyway.
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