- Convenience store Alltown Fresh has introduced fresh food crates and meal prep kits as part of its efforts to offer contactless shopping for customers during the pandemic, according to a company press release. The retailer is also offering curbside pickup and delivery through GrubHub.
- The grocery crates will consist of protein, produce or pantry items that customers can order 24 hours in advance and pick up the next day, allowing them to skip the crowds. Many of the items are organic or locally sourced from family farms.
- The meal prep kits include pre-assembled ingredients for dishes that can serve at least four people. Customers can order before noon and have a kit available to pick up by 5 p.m. Some of the meals offered include tacos, teriyaki rice bowls, pasta bakes and fresh falafel wraps.
Alltown Fresh said it’s committed to providing access to healthy food during the pandemic, and while many people are looking for quick and easy grocery options, the company wants to ensure shoppers don’t have to sacrifice nutrition for convenience.
The chain typically offers a variety of grocery items, made-to-order meals and beverages to meet the needs of health-minded consumers, including options that are organic, gluten-free, local, vegan or vegetarian.
The company touted its relationships with local farms and purveyors, saying they allow the market to maintain a reliable supply of fresh food in its stores, which are located in Massachusetts and Connecticut, while other grocers struggle to keep shelves stocked.
Contactless shopping and easy pickup options are at the center of retailers' efforts to help keep shoppers safe during the pandemic. In Northern California, Raley’s has introduced pre-packed grocery bags for seniors, providing either pantry essentials or prepared foods that can be picked up curbside. In the Midwest, Hy-Vee launched a curbside meals-to-go program, which allows shoppers to pick up hot items or take-and-bake meals within 30 minutes of placing an order.
Organizations like UNICEF and grocery store dietitians have been trying to educate consumers about the importance of continuing to eat healthy while they are told to stay at home. Not only can healthy food boost immunity, but access to nutrition and health care during a crisis can impact diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, as Giant Food’s director of healthy living recently reminded shoppers.