By: Leah Robinson
According to Steve Murch, CEO of BigOven, the percent of household income that Americans spend on groceries has dramatically declined over the past five decades. The percent of funds spent on groceries has shifted from 30% in the 1950s to relatively 13% by the 2000s. A major contributor to this decline? The professional life of the modern day parent.
Traditionally, women manage the food in the household and while that is still very true today, the time allotted to devote towards meal planning has decreased. In 61% percent of two-parent households with children under 18 years of age, both parents work. Additionally, 72% of single mothers are employed. Ted Boscia of the Cornell Chronicle reports that American moms with full-time jobs spend about 3.5 fewer hours per day on family planning than unemployed mothers.
As eating habits and food intake are crucial to developing healthy kids, this loss of time has a prominent impact on the household. Families begin to devote more time to eating out, or to purchasing pre-made, processed meals and more snack foods typically not high in nutritional value. As a result, children begin to rely on third parties, such as schools and child care facilities, for meal planning and nutritional guidance. In response to the modern day lack of time and available effort has come the emergence of the online grocery shopping community.
Online grocery shopping stems from the idea of how much media influences our relationship with food. The Hartman Research Group claims that 49% of consumers say they learn about food via social networking, and 40% say they learn about food via websites, blogs or apps. On the other end, much influence for online grocery shopping is related to the growth of the online shopping world as 75% of consumers say they shop online for products and services.
How does online grocery shopping aid today’s parent? With the grocery inventory in the hands of the mouse-holder, parents can cut out the time spent at the store, and the gas and mileage spent eating out by sorting out their groceries and meals online. By having the ability to do grocery and meal planning online, parents can take just 10 minutes out of their day to grocery shop while on a lunch break, or even just relaxing at home compared to 40 minutes to an hour required to commute and browse in the store.
Many stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Wegmans have taken advantage of the opportunity to provide families access to fresh food options online. There are even a number of companies devoted to partnering with grocery suppliers and delivering these healthy foods directly to families such as Good Eggs in San Francisco, Relay Foods in Richmond, and Fitly® in Philadelphia.
Anthony Ortiz, founder + ceo of Fitly®, a DreamIt Health startup, is a addressing the childhood obesity epidemic at its core, by providing busy parents with a free and convenient delivery service of healthy meals and simple meal prepping instructions, straight to the workplace, school, or community. His motto is “Eat healthy ever after.” and he believes that online grocery shopping, meal planning, and delivery add convenience to parents’ busy lives by saving them time, energy and stress. More time to devote to family leads to healthier meals, better eating habits, well-being and an overall more positive environment for the kids. Compared to just grocery shopping a-la-carte style online, Fitly is extending their parental time-saving focus even further by providing full meals for parents to choose from on their website and then delivering the needed ingredients and simple prepping instructions straight to their workplace, school, or community. “The real reward is that we’re delivering healthy groceries for same price you currently see at the supermarket – but – we deliver it to you for free! It’s a no brainer. As a busy parent, I couldn’t think of anything more convenient and easy to use that can save the average family up to 2 hours a week in grocery shopping. To a busy household, this is gold.” said Ortiz.
Fitly® is currently in pilot-mode and has partnered with Independence Blue Cross, Penn Medicine, DreamIt Ventures, Towers Watson & Venturef0rth to bring about this amazing opportunity to families, employers, and retailers. Here’s how Fitly works…
Although the idea of online grocery shopping has been around for a little over a decade, its services are more prevalent now than in times before. With parents, more directly mothers, holding so much influence on what foods shape the household, ample time must be available to ensure families are healthy and children receive the best care.