Whether you’re unable to find fresh fruit and vegetables at your local supermarket or simply can’t afford the risk of exposure to coronavirus by venturing out, the solution could be as close as the nearest computer or smart device. Record numbers of shoppers are going online to order produce that’s delivered right to their door.
But the sudden increase in demand has presented serious challenges—from backed-up orders to concern for the health and safety of employees and customers alike. And while online retailers are still the best alternative to going to the grocery store, many are scrambling to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We’ve got a list of resources below. But first, here’s what you need to know.
Delays are to be expected, at least in the short term.
“We have capped orders at this time so that our supply chain can catch up and we can maintain our promise of a good experience to customers,” said Evan Lutz, CEO of Baltimore-based Hungry Harvest. Employees from every department have been pitching in around the clock to help fulfill orders, and the company is currently seeking temporary workers for immediate hire at their warehouse. Lutz anticipates they’ll be able to take people off the waiting list within the next few weeks.
Philadelphia-based Misfits Market is also looking to hire people to help meet the sudden demand. “If I had to pick one adjective to describe what’s going on across the board, it’s unprecedented,” said CEO Abhi Ramesh. “We’ve seen a massive spike in new customer requests over the past 10 days or so,” he added, estimating the company’s customer base has grown by roughly 300-400% since the beginning of March.
Similarly, Michael and Rebecca Winik, co-founders of New York-based OurHarvest, have seen over a fivefold increase in orders during the same timeframe. While they are currently sold out of delivery spots, they expect to open up more within a few days for new...