Giving Compass' Take:

• Jim Giles at GreenBiz discusses how since many shoppers will continue to use grocery delivery services post-pandemic, we must pay serious attention to the transportation footprint associated with getting these items to consumers' front doors.

• How can donors help restaurants drive progress in sustainability and decreasing plastic pollution? 

• Here's an article on how meal kit deliveries can optimize the food system.

Welcome to part two of our forecasting exercise. Last week, we looked at a post-pandemic food system that’s a lot like a microgrid: decentralized; diverse; and more resilient to shocks. This week, I’m imagining a future in which coronavirus has dramatically reshaped how we buy food.

Back in the BC era — before coronavirus — consumers had limited interest in buying food online. When the World Economic Forum looked at the frequency of online purchases in 17 product categories, groceries came last (PDF). Two-thirds of us have bought electronics online; for groceries, the figure is 16 percent.

That was then. Order volume at Instacart is up a staggering 500 percent from this time last year, prompting the company to grow its army of shoppers from 200,000 to more than 750,000. At Whole Foods, deliveries are so hard to book that developers have built bots that automatically grab new slots. Small producers that serve local markets also report being overwhelmed with online orders.

This is likely an inflection point. Sure, some people will return to stores as the coronavirus threat wanes. But having tried it, I bet that many shoppers will find online grocery ordering quicker and easier. It’s therefore vital that we figure out what this shift means for the sustainability of the food system.

Read the full article about online grocery delivery services by Jim Giles at GreenBiz.