Consumers continue to flock to the internet for their everyday needs. Clothes and books tend to be the main items of interest, whereas fruits and vegetables have been taking off at a much slower pace. The main reason for this is that ordering produce online means that a shopper must rely on stock images of the fruits/vegetables instead of seeing what the actual product is. This turns off many online shoppers because the quality of produce can be questionable if ordered online.
According to Iconoculture, Walmart acquired a new patent for 3-D imaging technology that allows consumers to inspect their produce before it arrives. A system called Fresh Online Experience (FOE) is the key to this new patent. Customers still order their produce online and see a stock photo, but then a store associate sends the customer an exact image of the produce they ordered. Customers then have the option to either accept of reject the selected item. Walmart hopes that this will provide healthier and more reliable options for online shoppers looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Walmart has the potential to significantly disrupt the produce delivery market if the patent is successful.
Although most online markets have yet to compete with pioneers like Amazon or Zalando, there is a significant increase in online food shopping. According to LinkedIn, economists predict a 23% growth in the field of online food delivery over the next couple years. This positive growth in the food delivery market urges companies to develop quicker and healthier options that consumers can enjoy.