As we have heard time and time again, we are living in unprecedented times. In what felt like just a matter of days, many peoples’ lives were upended in the wake of coronavirus. Jobs were lost, food was stocked up, and the doors were closed for a period of quarantine and social distancing.
But with this mandatory shift in day-to-day life comes the increased demand for delivery services, especially grocery delivery. For years, grocery delivery has been an available service in most areas of our country, the main partakers being city dwellers and busy professionals. Given our current pandemic circumstances, the paradigm has now shifted, and more and more people appreciate grocery delivery for its speed, accessibility, and safety.
Unfortunately, many on-demand groceries are sourced from local extensions of industry giants. With mass production at the forefront of their models, large industries turn a blind eye to the enormous carbon footprint, food waste, and plastic consumption that their inventories support. With these industry giants dominating the on-demand delivery sector, sustainability is often an afterthought, if one at all: Until now.
Sustainable Living with Public Goods
Public Goods is an on-demand delivery service with a focus on sustainability and health. Each item in their compact list of offerings has its own explanation from the company on why the product is sustainable. Buyers can also read more in depth about Public Goods’ mission on the about page.
As far as shopping goes, Public Goods has the essentials covered. Choose from canned and jarred goods, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, vitamins and supplements, tree-free paper towels and toilet paper. Basically, all of your day-to-day staples can be purchased in a sustainable, eco-friendly way.
Keep in mind that each Public Goods product is one of one. This means that consumers won’t have a range of products to choose from; There’s one razor selection, one shampoo, and so on. For food, there are a few different flavor selections to choose from, but the inventory and products all stay true to their minimalist promise.
Public Good's minimalist packaging is made from sustainable materials such as bamboo and sugarcane
Consumers can also rest assured that all of the packaging on Public Goods is sustainable as well. Instead of using tree materials and plastics, Public Goods utilizes bamboo and sugarcane. Although bamboo may resemble a tree, it is actually considered a grass, and harvesting bamboo doesn’t require killing the plant. This allows for both materials to be easily and quickly replenished without harming the environment.
Considering the extensive inventory list and dedication to sustainability, it seems like the prices would reflect as such. However, Public Goods is actually at a lower price point than most grocery stores. Their membership model costs $59 per year, but the savings overall bridge the gap satisfactorily. The factory costs are virtually the same as any other grocery service, but the markup is significantly lower. Plus, Public Goods doesn’t mark up their products just because of a surge in demand. They are working hard to meet the needs of consumers during the pandemic by keeping their prices the same and limiting the purchase amount of certain commodities.
Compared to an average run to the grocery store, the Public Goods price tag takes the win. The sizing of items such as shampoo, lotion, and other personal products are generous considering their cost, but the quality remains high. For those hesitant about tree-free products holding up, don't be. The tree-free paper towels are sturdy and absorbent, and you'll hardly notice the difference from your run-of-the-mill grocery store towels. Plus, Public Goods is offering $10 off your first order, so now is the perfect time to give them a try!
Get $10 off your first order at Public Goods here.
Living in a Post-Coronavirus World
Our post-coronavirus world will certainly be different than what we’re used to. The country had to flip a switch and adapt to the recommendations given to slow the spread of the virus, leaving our daily lives forever touched by the urgency of a global pandemic.
With these circumstances came a huge wakeup call for the grocery industry as a whole. Shelves were picked clean in panic, and people feared walking into the store to purchase their supplies.
As a result, the grocery delivery services became overwhelmed, unlike ever before. People who had never used services like these were filling their virtual carts, sending shoppers into the stores to scavenge whatever food and supplies might be left.
Although these increases occurred suddenly, there’s a good chance they’re here to stay. The ease, accessibility, and affordability all point to a generally positive user experience. And now that the pandemic pushed people to learn how to use such a service, a lot of the heavy lifting is out of the way when it comes to on-demand delivery.
The COVID-19 pandemic won’t last forever, but it will leave its mark on us. Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations at FMI, put it this way: “Consumer behavior always shifts in times of disaster. People are learning new skills and how to shop online as a result of what we’re experiencing today.”
As for Public Goods, it looks like they’ve found their niche in the market. With tons of gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, vegan-friendly and tree-free products, the price point is impressive. It makes moving towards a sustainable lifestyle as easy as adding to the cart and putting in shipping info.
Just how drastically the grocery industry will change from this pandemic in the long term is unknown. Projections are pointing to a shift towards the continued growth of grocery delivery services. The question now is whether the momentum will keep this paradigm going, and whether or not pick and click groceries will become the new norm.