Refrigerated locker adoption growing fast

Refrigerated locker adoption at the home is growing fast in Australia. It is a relatively new technology for our market. At the time of writing there are only two companies providing refrigerated lockers for apartments in Australia. The rise in home grocery delivery can be attributed to growth in technology use, many social and ecological perspectives, and mostly our time-poor lifestyles. 

Our equally time-poor parents or grandparents had to travel to the supermarket and pick fresh what they required for cooking for the week (or two). This was more a necessity than a luxury. They were also likely washing dishes (and delicate clothes) by hand and didn’t have a microwave either! These days we increasingly prefer to shop online for groceries and other temperature-sensitive items. Let’s look at why there is a growing need for refrigerated delivery lockers.

Refrigerated deliveries at all time high

Refrigerated deliveries have reached an all time high in Australia. Apartments are being inundated with food deliveries. People in the city are more likely to have food delivered than those in the country. Roy Morgan puts this number at 31.6 per cent versus 16.6 per cent.  

Several factors over the years have contributed to this. One factor is increasing “waste less” values. We see great benefit in getting food from the supplier to the end-user quickly. We may halve the shelf life of our food and heighten nutrient value simply by removing a step in the supply chain.  

The rise of the gig economy and expectations for fast, flexible delivery have also powered growth in online groceries. This growth began before the pandemic, though lockdowns have of course provided a push in uptake. Now many grocery retailers have moved to online on-demand delivery. These companies are vying for “a share of the $100 billion Australians spend every year on supermarket items”.

Groceries are not the only temperature-sensitive items to see a rise in home delivery. In April 2020, we covered medications being delivered to homes. Pharmacies were newly able to offer free home delivery of pharmaceuticals through Australia Post after ​​$25 Million in Federal Government funding.

Refrigerated locker: The impact of COVID 

The impact of COVID has mainly been the sheer number of people taking up online grocery shopping. An estimated one third of Australians did so when lockdowns began in 2020. Research by Finder indicates that almost two in every 10 Australians are now using online methods.

Food delivery companies received a real kick to growth across the globe with the onset of lockdowns. Roy Morgan reported that over 5.5 million Australians aged over 14, or 26.5 per cent, used meal delivery services in 2020. This was up from 19 per cent in 2019. The longer lockdown in Victoria pushed Melbourne ahead to be the city showing most growth. 

The impact of COVID on supermarket workers (and consequently shelves) has also collided with the growing “buy local” consciousness. Her Canberra blogger wrote about the more than 55 places to buy groceries online that weren’t one of the big chains. Of course, thanks to the growth in grocery retailers online, all of these fresh food retailers became available to Canberrans.

High growth seen by pet-food delivery services has also been attributed to the pandemic. Pet ownership has increased significantly throughout the pandemic,” said Mad Paws CEO Justus Hammer. Wet pet-food, attributed to around 46 per cent of pet-food purchases, needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. This can be impossible during heat-waves without a secure, refrigerated locker. 

Rise in home delivery and food risks

The rise in home delivery convenience has increased food risks overall. One issue is keeping food at the right temperature for as long as it needs to wait for us. We need our groceries or meal kits sent to our homes, but we’re not necessarily there to collect and refrigerate them right away. 

For this reason, we also need help to protect from tampering and theft. Food deliveries have been high on the theft list. Recently, a Bondi man had a week’s worth of meals stolen. This is sadly nothing new. However, thanks to technology this will soon enough be a thing of the past.

Refrigerated locker: the solution for food safety and security

Refrigerated lockers are the solution to keeping food safe, cool, and secure. They provide a controlled, cool-temperature environment while your groceries, medications, and other perishables wait for you to get home. For example, Groundfloor™ refrigerated lockers can provide a temperature of 1-6 C. The temperature is set at installation and monitored continuously. You can even send or receive fresh flowers with more confidence! 

Refrigerated lockers should stay on all the time so you can receive or collect deliveries without fuss late into the night or very early morning. Groundfloor™ works with the building manager before installation to discuss the best location and process when lockers are placed behind a secured door. 

We help couriers deliver straight into the lockers without coming upstairs or leaving boxes outside locked doors. The recipient then automatically receives an SMS with their secure code, just as they do for smart parcel lockers. Locking food deliveries in a refrigerated locker provides utmost security against theft. Groundfloor refrigerated lockers are the latest in the company’s range of smart delivery lockers. Read here to learn more.

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