Brick-and-mortar stores have for years been losing sales to online shopping. The ease and convenience of buying everything from clothes to books to toys have taken a toll on department stores and mega-malls. Grocery stores are starting to feel the pinch as well, as shoppers are increasingly comfortable with trading in a physical shopping cart for an online one. The recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market by Amazon threatens to blur the line between online and actual grocery shopping even further.
Even the most perishable items like meat and seafood are falling into this trend as well. Shoppers don’t need to go to the meat case, search through the packages for the perfect ribeye and bring it home. They can point-and-click their way to a hearty steak without leaving their favorite chair.
Greensbury was founded in 2007 with the goal of making organic meat accessible to everyone. Its website (www.greensbury.com) allows browsers to purchase meat and seafood with all the attributes that are valued by more and more consumers — grass-fed (for beef), sustainably raised, vegetarian-fed (for chickens), wild-caught (for seafood) and USDA organic.
A successful Kickstarter campaign promises to add numerous features to the platform, including the ability to shop by recipe, filter by foods, cooking methods and dietary preferences, deliver pre-portioned proteins with meal planning guides and more. Each improvement is designed to add convenience to the shopping process and knock down any hesitancy about ordering fresh meat and seafood online.
“Unlike with meal kit companies and many other companies that sell proteins online, Greensbury customers can order what they want, when they want,” explains CEO Ted Hopper. “We offer a number of different, flexible options: 1) a la carte ordering; 2) recurring delivery where the customer can select the delivery frequency (and save 5% on all orders); and 3) delayed delivery, which is great for gifts and holidays.”
Since its debut, Greensbury has steadily grown and increased its capabilities. It started offering just grass-fed beef before expanding its protein selection. Other improvements since its inception include a subscribe-and-save option, delayed delivery and sample boxes.
Hopper notes that online sales in the U.S. are expected to grow by nearly 20 percent annually over the next five years, and online sales of organic beef and poultry should grow even faster, at nearly 30 percent annually.
“Another important trend we see is in the purchasing preferences of Millennials, who will soon be the largest working generation in America,” he adds. “Compared to prior generations, Millennials are more than twice as likely to seek out organic, healthier ingredients and are more willing to pay a higher share of wallet for those products.”
Greensbury procures its red meat and poultry from American farms, sourcing its beef from a cooperative that includes ranches in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Illinois. Some of its best sellers are to be expected: ground beef, ribeyes, and filet mignon, as well as chicken breasts, sockeye salmon and its new pork sausages. However, beef bones are quite popular as well.
“We listened to customer feedback, and it took a couple iterations to get the sizing just right, but today we offer 5-pound bags of beef bones that are each 2-4 inches long (to fit better into regular sized pots),” says Hopper. “Consumers responded very well, and beef bones are now consistently a top-seller.”