Grocery Shop at the Subway Station

July 6, 2011

In South Korea, you can grocery shop while you wait for your subway train. You scan items of a Tesco’s Home plus virtual storefront using your smart phone, and the groceries will be at your door by the time you get home.

The novelty factor’s pretty big. The first thought that came to mind was how do you read the ingredient label? (It’s the first thing I do when I pick up a product.) I’m guessing you can do that on your phone. The second was, I’d miss handling stuff and being able to check for freshness. What I buy depends on how fresh/ripe the food looks and smells. I’m guessing that would be hit and miss. The third thought was, is this really that different than just shopping online? And how many items will you really buy before you miss your train?

I actually enjoy grocery shopping. I like browsing through the various products, picking stuff up, etc. If anything, I think this would make grocery shopping more of a chore for me, since it’d take all the enjoyment out. But I know a lot of people already consider it a chore, so perhaps they’d be more into this than me. I can’t help but feel that it further alienates us from our food. Not only do we not see the farm the food came from, but we don’t even see the store. I think it’d be okay for processed foods, but not so much for fresh. And since I mostly eat the latter, meh..

What do you think about virtual grocery store fronts?

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