Posted by: nickgerlich | March 12, 2008

E-Diet

Call it a strange collision, but sometimes powerful unrelated forces converge to create a market opportunity.

For example, few would argue that we are tightly pressed for time. We drive fast to try to make up for red lights, trains, and other unplanned delays, and we often find ourselves dining out simply because we have neither the time nor desire to prep[are food at home. We’re also on a bit of a health food kick these days, with aging Baby Boomers leading the brigade as they (we) seek to stay young forever. We are frequently bombarded with the likes of organic products (Silk organic soy milk has been advertising like crazy these days), and even Chevy is promoting one of its new E85 vehicles as being “vegetarian.” And let us not forget that e-commerce is increasingly viewed as the shopping cure-all for our harried (and hurried) lifestyles.

Diet GourmetSo I was not the least bit surprised to see a billboard last week for Diet Gourmet, a health-food delivery service in several Texas cities. The idea is that, through an online ordering interface, custoemrs can select up to three meals a day that are delivered right to their door (in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas). Alternatively, custoemrs living in outlying areas (i.e., the rest of the state) can have meals delivered by overnight courier.

Ah yes, but how much does it cost?

Compared to eating out, prices are comparable. Plus, you can dine in the coziness of your own home and save time. Compared to preparing your own food, though, it is a little pricey. Dinners, for example, run about $10 each. And for those unfortunate souls who live in The Great Elsewhere, shipping will run $35-$85, which makes this one expensive meal.

But if your life is running at warp speed, and you have a desire to eat more healthily, Diet Gourmet sounds like a winner. My only concerns are whether this strange collision of social forces has produced enough of a market to support such an endeavor, because if it hasn’t, this could instead become a train wreck.

Dr “Choo Choo!” Gerlich

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