I absolutely HATE grocery shopping. Let me be a little more specific. It’s not so much the shopping part that I hate. It’s driving there, waiting in the long checkout lines, pushing the cart to the car, driving them home, lugging them into the house, and generally wasting 1-3 hours every week. As a self-proclaimed, and highly privileged baby boomer, I like to outsource as much as I can. I will pay extra for great customer service. So when online grocery shopping became available, I was all over it.
Living in the Chicago area meant that Peapod was the online shopping choice. Remember Web Van? Another of the dot com bust ventures. Peapod began about the same time, but has managed to hang in there.
Seven years later I’m still a weekly customer. Their big green panel truck pulls up to my home every Wednesday evening and in come my groceries. Everything. Meat, fruit, vegetables, staples, even wine. It’s a great experience, and one that I plan on maintaining as long as possible. There have been some bumps, but mostly with the delivery window. The quality is great, and if you ever have a problem, they credit you immediately. Love them.
I recently heard about Ikan. It’s a company that has developed a bar code reader with a small screen display that helps you track your grocery supply chain. When you finish your cereal, or milk, or ice cream, you simply scan the bar code with your Ikan and it adds it to your grocery list through wireless internet access. You can then manage your lists, including Peapod, from a web site and schedule your delivery as normal. Sounds great.
Although intrigued, the actual, physical Ikan looks very much first generation. Kind of looks like the ED-209 (enforcement droid) from the original Robocop movie. It’s big, not stylish and doesn’t fit into my kitchen decor. They are hopefully at work on subsequent releases that allow consumers to nestle this neatly and under a cabinet. Once they do that, I will get serious.