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The Virtual Supermarket Project. Connecting underserved communities to healthy foods. Many neighborhoods do not have a full-service supermarket. People shop at corner stores that are: Unhealthy Poor or no selection of fruits and vegetables More expensive than supermarket fare

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the virtual supermarket project

The Virtual Supermarket Project

Connecting underserved communities to healthy foods

the problem
Many neighborhoods do not have a full-service supermarket. People shop at corner stores that are:

Unhealthy

Poor or no selection of fruits and vegetables

More expensive than supermarket fare

Health consequences:

Obesity

High blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease

The Problem
innovation the virtual supermarket project
Innovation:The Virtual Supermarket Project
  • Mission: The mission of the Virtual Supermarket Project is to transform urban communities into neighborhoods that enjoy convenient, rapid access to affordable, healthy food.
innovation the virtual supermarket project5
Innovation:The Virtual Supermarket Project
  • The Virtual Supermarket Project will achieve this transformation by:
    • partnering with community groups to allow purchasing and same-day delivery of supermarket goods to local neighborhood points via Internet ordering.
the virtual supermarket project6
The Virtual Supermarket Project

Grocery ordering occurs at a community center using the Internet

Groceries delivered to the same place within 3-6 hours of order placement

the virtual supermarket project7
Community group supplies:

People who need a way to purchase groceries

A high traffic area for the Virtual Supermarket Project to set up

Publicity of the project to community members

The Virtual Supermarket supplies:

Staff to administer the process

Secure Internet access for purchases

Credit card to guarantee purchases

Subsidized delivery fee for first 6 weeks to establish demand

The Virtual Supermarket Project
the process
The Process
  • Step 1: Select 1-2 times/week for online grocery ordering at the Community Center/Church/Neighborhood Site
  • 2: Consumers pay with cash, credit card, debit, or food stamps
  • 3: Order submitted to supermarket
  • 4: Select a delivery time
  • 5: Residents pick up pre-purchased groceries at appointed time at Community Center/Church/Neighborhood Site
community implications
Community Implications
  • Convenient neighborhood delivery
    • Removes transportation barrier
    • No more buses or cabs to get to the market
  • Less expensive than corner stores
  • Expanded, healthier food choices
business implications
Business Implications
  • Markets want to sell more food, and people want to buy it!
  • Virtual Supermarket organizes the low income market
  • Subsidizes delivery fee until market has grown large enough to justify a waiver of the fee
  • Higher quality goods and services brought to the neighborhood
where the data
Where the data?

One test run:

#1: 6 participants: $151.32

Two test runs:

#1: 3 participants: $97.11

#2: 8 participants: $134.32

next steps spread the word
Promotion of Virtual Supermarket Project to community groups

Establish 1-2 purchase nights, 1 delivery time

Begin serving the community!

Next steps: Spread the word
short term goals 6mo the virtual supermarket project
Establish routine, predictable healthy food access at 10 community sites throughout Baltimore City

MOUs

Increase volume and value of purchases so delivery fee is waived

15-20 users per site

Attract additional sites

Short-term Goals (6mo.): The Virtual Supermarket Project
long term goals 1 2 yrs the virtual supermarket project
Establish routine, predictable healthy food access in underserved communities

Educate consumers on healthy food purchasing

Influence purchases at the point of sale though education

Expand Virtual Supermarket Project to other cities

Long-term Goals (1-2 yrs): The Virtual Supermarket Project
slide23

Comments? Questions?

The Virtual Supermarket Project

Jennifer Monti

410-396-1408

jennifer.monti@baltimorecity.gov