According to Forbes magazine, the food delivery industry is set to grow to a whopping $200 billion by 2025, so I think it's safe to say it's not going anywhere any time soon.
The concept of food delivery isn't new. It's been around for as long as we've had cars and phones. However, what is new is our ability to put thousands of restaurants onto a single app, crowd source delivery drivers, and we have no time to cook. If there's one thing our society loves, it's having a ton of choices and lightening fast service without needing to lift a finger.
Online food delivery is already having a HUGE impact on the dine-in restaurant business. In fact, Jamie Oliver cites it as one of the main reasons his restaurant chain's demise. The fact is that people are just too busy these days to cook their own meals and bake their own desserts. Heck - they're too busy to even have time to go to the grocery store and pick up a ready-made meal!
Leisurely grocery shopping and lengthy household meal preparations only worked in a time when families could afford to have only one breadwinner. Now, that's not to say that the sole breadwinner has to be a man - it could easily be a woman. The problem is that the costs of living have increased so drastically since the fifties that unless one partner is making way more than your average salary, everyone will need to pitch in to pay the bills. We all try to divide and conquer the remaining housework at the end of a long work day, but unless you enjoy living on four hours of sleep or less and having no time to yourself, you'll eventually crack and just order from Uber.
I know I have!
It Won’t be Meal Kits
Alright, I’m going to get in trouble with someone for this one. I don’t think the future is meal kits, and here’s why.
The cost of living keeps increasing compared to the average household income. Conservative economist may argue against this, but what they’re referring to is the median income. If you use that number, it appears to have not budged in 40 years. Of course, the experiences of the average person say differently, and that’s because the extra income has gone to the most wealthy. What this means is that fewer and fewer households will be able to pay the bills on one income. With all adults working full-time, there’s no time left to cook!
The reasons why some still choose meal kits over ordering out when they have two full-time jobs is largely because it’s still cheaper, and it’s perceived to be a healthier option. Thing is, that’s all about to change.
The food delivery industry is BRUTAL. The biggest players in the game (Uber, Skip the Dishes, Grub Hub, etc.) can’t even make a profit despite the already crazy prices and gouging of restaurants. It’s a hunger games-like battle of cutting prices and flushing huge amounts of money down the toilet. All of the hundred million dollar investments get put into acquiring smaller competitors and spreading over more territory.
Drone delivery could change all of that. There’s currently a ton of research and development being done on both land and air delivery. If the human element is taken out, prices could drop significantly. As a Climate Leader for Youth Challenge International, I’m thrilled that this would also take so many fossil fuel-burning cars off the road.
Ghost, Dark, and Cloud Kitchens
This is where J. Crawford comes in… yaaayyy!!! There’s a new model of food business out there - one that spends far less money on overhead and can therefore drop the prices of their food. They work through the delivery apps to focus solely on online ordering. These kitchens are commercial facilities, not retail fronts.
The Evolving Standards of Nutrition
Restaurants are focusing more and more on the health and well-being of their customers as the demands for healthier foods keep rising. These days, unless you’re eating at a fast-food restaurant, there’s very little nutritional difference between takeout and a home cooked meal. Brands that are able to earn the trust of their customers will become the dominant players.
So, there you have it. That’s why I think the future of the food industry is flying drones carrying eco-friendly packages of food from nearby ghost kitchens to your door every day. What do you guys think?? Let us know in the comments below!