Hi, guest blogger Dan Scalco from Food Box HQ here. I’ve tried food boxes of all shapes, sizes and flavors—including the Grass Roots subscription meat box. And I’m excited to share my predictions for the trends in food delivery as I see them—based on lots of exceptional eating experiences.

Food preparation is one of the most important, enjoyable—and time consuming—responsibilities of our daily lives. And—without a doubt—the way we buy our food is changing.  Right now, the average person still drives to a grocery store, buys food they don’t know much about, and spends time cooking it. We all do it so often it’s a process that’s burned into our brain. However, with technology entering our lives in new ways and modernizing of everything from how you hail a cab to how you watch TV, the way you get your food radically changing as well.

How do I know? Having run and tested nearly every popular food box and meal delivery service on the market, I’ve seen the future.

Below are three trends I predict will grow in popularity among all food delivery services within the next five years…

Trend #1:  Sustainable Packaging.

Talking with food delivery customers, the number one complaint I hear over and over is, “the packaging is so wasteful.” And I agree. Many companies don’t put the time and effort into making their packaging green or even as recyclable as they should. The main consideration for these companies when making a packaging decision comes down to cost. And while greener packaging usually means a slightly higher price, it also means supporting the environment. Grass Roots shows that it can be done. Unlike many companies that use styrofoam (one of the hardest to recycle materials) as the insulation and protection in their boxes, Grass Roots uses green cell foam. This corn-based material is 100% biodegradable, even better than being recyclable. You can compost it, dissolve it in water, or even burn it with zero harmful effects to the environment. The reusable tote bag Grass Roots includes in each box can also help customers stop using single-use plastic bags or paper bags at the grocery store—both of which are resource intensive to create.

Trend #2: Transparency, Transparency.

As our civilization has urbanized, our relationship with what we eat has changed dramatically. We went from personally knowing the people who grew our vegetables and raised our meat, to knowing next to nothing about what we are eating. When you don’t know where your food comes from, you risk being taken advantage of. That’s how factory farms are able to get away with so much (e.g., pumping animals with antibiotics and hormones, exploiting workers, selling contaminated products, etc.). This is where Grass Roots really distinguishes itself—not only in the food delivery space but in the agriculture industry as a whole. All of the meat they send to customers has a plethora of information included with it: about the farm the animal was raised on, what it ate, where it was processed, and more. This type of information is not a gimmick; it can truly help you become more well-informed when it comes to your food sourcing.

Trend #3: Small Farms are the Future.

Historically, small-scale farms were the backbone of our country. With the industrialization of agriculture, many family farms were forced out of business and consumers were distanced from the sources of their food. But—thanks to a rebirth of values-based consumerism and a concern for responsibly raised, nutritionally dense food—increasingly, consumers are returning to buying from small farmers. As food delivery services grow, I see their relationship with small-scale farms growing as well. While costs may be tougher to keep down, it will allow consumers to know that their food was made in a healthy and authentic way. This again is why I was so impressed upon first trying Grass Roots. Because their business is owned by the farmers who raise the meats they sell, they can guarantee their standards and the quality of their foods. This model is a profound way to organize a meal delivery service that helps farmers grow and consumers eat better.

Final Thoughts

The reason I found Grass Roots to be such a great food delivery service is because much of what they’re doing is revolutionary for the industry. They hit upon each of the three trends mentioned above when most big meal delivery services barely hit upon any. We’re just starting to an inkling of change in this space, thanks to companies like Grass Roots pushing the boundaries. I’m excited to see what’s to come!