Two Views of the Food System: Food Everywhere / Vegetarian Food Relief | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

Posted by: on Monday April 26, 2021

Food is everywhere…accessible if you can afford it yet many are food insecure. And some of the food insecure are vegans/vegetarians.

Food is everywhere

Increased access to food is a trend that continues. Unfortunately, it often comes with impulsive food choices for consumers. Nutrition educators can help the public navigate the myriad of available food choices.

Technology/online/social media…

Voice-assisted technology assists online grocery shopping which is important to note since 33% of households have at least one smart speaker. The first grocery app is added to Shopify. Google Maps begins a Portland, Oregon pilot program that will allow you to schedule grocery pickup on their app. Google Maps will also add grocer pickup and delivery info. In social media news: TikTok is testing recipe and shopping buttons which highlights the footprint of food on this social media platform. And Etsy is getting into selling food… there was a 134% increase in food-related searches between July and December 2020 and more about what food people search for on Etsy. Looking to the future of technology: although 80% of the current car fleet doesn’t have modern in-dash entertainment systems some auto companies are finding ways to use the car as a food ordering platform including Fiat Chrysler and BMW.

Food samples after the pandemic…

Free grocery samples go from the store to curbside as online shoppers get them from manufacturers and Walmart woos online shoppers with free food samples at curbside pickup.

Restaurant ghost kitchens where you live and shop for food; c-stores; CVS to expand food…

Surprise! That’s a ghost kitchen in your apartment building. Saladworks is planning to open ghost kitchens in some Walmarts. A new report gives a ‘heads up’ to c-stores: more electric cars (less fueling), consumer interest in fresh and healthy foods and online food ordering suggest convenience stores need to focus more on food to survive. CVS to expand groceries available (meal solutions, healthy options, plant-based) at select stores. 

Replacing McDonald’s @ Walmart…

McDonald’s to shutter many locations in Walmart stores due to reduced pandemic traffic: at its peak about 1,000 of Walmart’s 3,570 Supercenters had a McDonald’s and about 150 will remain. What will replace them? Fast casual and other services.

Grocery shopping online pushes products; grocery delivery to campus…

Thrive Market uses an online quiz to ‘grab’ shoppers’ preferences and then use the answers to ‘push’ products to them. On-campus at Texas A&M? You can get on-campus grocery delivery from H-E-B.

Vegetarian food relief

Canned beans, nut butters and other items can meet the donated food needs for vegans/vegetarians. Vegan food pantries are another option. They have been available overseas for awhile and are now in the U.S. in New York, California and Nevada, Maryland and Georgia. PETA’s Vegans for the Vulnerable asks shoppers to buy one vegan option and donate it.