Taking the pain out the grocery game: Connectivity changing how you shop

Eating fresh, local and delicious food has become more convenient than ever, with online delivery offerings making meals and grocery shopping a breeze. 

The time once spent devising meal plans, researching recipes, strolling up and down the aisles of a busy supermarket, and deciding what to cook for dinner each evening is being won back thanks to an explosion of online websites and services in our digital economy.

These companies are centered on convenience, doing all of the hard work for you. Be it a freshly cooked meal, or a box of local and in-season fruit and veg, there’s plenty of ways to keep your fridge stocked and belly satisfied without the hassle of leaving the house. 

Takeaway and delivery 

Not too long ago, takeaway and delivery menus were limited to a small number of restaurants, either because not many businesses in your area supported the options, or you simply had no centralised way of seeing what was available.

More recently, thanks to a new wave of online delivery services, a lot more choices have become available. From favourite hole-in-the-wall joints to upscale restaurants, you can order almost any meal or cuisine straight from the kitchen to your front door.

These amalgamation sites partner with local restaurants and food joints all over Australia to offer a variety of takeaway food delivery options based on your location, if you’re in an eligible area.

These include:

  • Menulog – search from over 7,000 restaurants and have the flexibility to pay online or with cash, arrange pick up or get delivery. It’s that easy!
  • Delivery Hero – thousands of restaurants to choose from and easy payment options makes ordering online delivery super simple
  • eatnow – partnering with more than 6,000 local restaurants, eatnow offers users temping deals like discounts on first orders
  • Foodora – with a carefully crafted list featuring some of your city's best restaurants (if available in your city), Foodora is taking home deliveries to a fancy new level
  • Deliveroo – an average delivery time of 32 minutes and a curated selection of awesome restaurants to help satisfy your food fix

Meal Planning 

Have you ever wished for a simple way to prepare dinner, cut down your food waste and save time? Meal box deliveries may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

These curated food boxes come filled with fresh and seasonal produce, perfectly matched to delicious recipes, taking the stress out of your mealtime prep. Some great options include:

  • Hello Fresh – weekly recipes created by a team of chefs and freshly sourced ingredients, delivered to your door at a time that suits you.
  • My Food Bag – fresh market produce is picked and packed up to match recipes created by dietitians and nutritionists with the whole family in mind, aiming for around 450-650 Cal per serving.
  • Marley Spoon – browse new fast-and-easy recipes online each week and order your box of pre-measured, seasonal ingredients when it’s convenient
  • Dinner Twist – Simple and delicious recipes, which only take 20-45 minutes, are perfect for a busy lifestyle. Dinner Twist is currently only available in Perth

General shopping 

Aussie farmers and well-known chefs such as Ben Shewry and Mike McEnearney have championed concepts such as ‘paddock to plate’ and ‘farm to table’ in a bid to get people to think about where their food comes from.

The rise of online food and grocery shopping has made it easier for people to go local, know where their food comes from, and eat sustainably.

Interested? Here’s where to start:

  • Aussie Farmers Direct – with produce sourced from Aussie farmers and suppliers, you’re supporting our farmers and receiving fresh and local groceries straight to your kitchen bench.
  • Harris Farm – encouraging users to reconnect with the natural joy of food, Harris Farm markets offers NSW customers to shop in season and locally produced fruit and veg, seafood and meat. Best of all, you can shop from their ‘Imperfect Pick’ range for cheaper fruit deemed unappealing by the big supermarkets based on appearance, but perfectly delicious on the inside!
  • Box Fresh – delicious boxes of locally picked fruit and veg fresh from the farmers’ market and delivered to your home or office in the Greater Sydney area.
  • Farm Fresh Grocer – the Farm Fresh family has been farming, wholesaling and retailing since 1938. Due to popular demand, they’ve introduced a home delivery service so you can receive fresh, premium produce without a trip to the markets.  

The future is now

Smart fridges will be able to detect your food supplies and communicate with your smartphone to alert you or even order directly from supermarket. Photo: iStock (Representation purposes only)

Ordering food yourself is just the beginning, eventually your fridge could be doing it for you. Machine-to-machine (M2M) devices are gadgets that are capable of talking to each other without the need for human interaction.

With the ever-expanding capabilities of computers and electronics, M2M devices have started to expand beyond the needs of science and manufacturing, into appliances that are designed to aid with every day living.

There are now numerous internet-connected appliances that make use of M2M communication to help with work around the home.

For example, appliance makers are experimenting with fridges that contain sensors that keep an eye on your food.

In theory, these sensors can detect how much milk you have and if you are running low, send this information to the inbuilt computer, which adds it to a shopping list.

At the end of the month, your computer can even contact the online supermarket and order the food for you.

With connected machines are estimated to grow to somewhere between 25 million and 50 million by 2020, a fast broadband connection could be needed to handle the increased load. Find out what the future of connected homes looks like in our special blog series.

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