It’s no secret that the pandemic changed the game for where and how people spend their time, especially when it comes to health and wellness. What once was regular trips to gyms and restaurants now means more cooking dinner at home and a ride on the Peloton. Thankfully, delivery options and last mile delivery technology are jumping on board these new trends headfirst and evolving to meet the growing need.

Let’s start with the booming meal kit industry. 

Even before the pandemic, the growing meal kit industry was feeling an onslaught of consumer demand for obvious reasons: people want healthy and convenient meals. One example? HelloFresh. The company increased its revenues by 41% in 2018 and shipped out 44% more kits than the previous year.

Now, fast forward to spring of 2020. What was already a successful industry was accelerated by the pandemic. The industry has an expected worth of $11 billion by 2022 and $20 billion by 2027 (from slideshow data). Meal kit delivery companies first popped up in the U.S. around 2012. Some of the originals in the game were Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Plated (now out of business). A short time later Home Chef joined in too. Today, there are more than 150 meal kit companies in the states.

People aren’t just reaching for meal kit delivery service, they are ditching trips to the grocery store all together.

With the added competition among delivery services comes a higher expectation from customers.

“Thirty minutes will become the new expectation for shoppers in delivery, and if grocers don’t meet it, they’ll need to develop some other differentiator,” said Anne Mezzenga, the co-CEO of retail blog Omni Talk. She went on to explain, “Whether that's dark stores, whether that's sortation centers, whether it's partnerships and acquisitions, every grocer is going to have to figure out a long-term solution for instant delivery [in order to] stay competitive.”

You might have used Instacart for the first time during the pandemic. Remember the grocery delivery company that became a lifeline for people across the country essentially overnight? It was in such demand, it sometimes took days to get an order of food. The company’s CEO said it experienced five years of growth packed into one year. In one month, Instacart added a whopping 300,000 drivers in an effort to keep up with orders.

Now, Instacart is delivering a lot more than just bread and bananas. Think: makeup, baby supplies, a bottle of wine, a tool for a home project you’re in the middle of, and much more. The possibilities are endless now that the company has partnered with Sephora, Wal-Mart, ALDI, CVS and more than 500 other retailers and grocers.

Even pet meal delivery is on the rise. Delivery services for pet food are expected to reach USD 5.20 billion by 2028, according to a recent report from Grand View Research, Inc.

A permanent shift in the $32 billion fitness industry? Experts say yes. 

In response to the pandemic, many gyms across the country responded by offering streaming apps and classes. It led to a surge in everything from bikes to treadmills to weights. Now, as we start 2022, the at-home workout trend continues. 

From March to October of 2021, health and fitness equipment revenue more than doubled to $2.3 billion. Treadmill sales skyrocketed 135 percent and stationary bikes almost tripled.

Nobody felt the backlog of orders harder than Peloton. The company said It had $230 million in backlogged orders back in June 2020, leaving customers to wait months for their purchases. The company tossed $100 million into air freight and expedited ocean freight to speed up deliveries.

“At some point, you know, we were putting bikes and treads on planes in order to be able to get them there,” said CEO John Foley. 

Remember when working remotely was considered a job perk? It’s here to stay for many, at least for the next few years.

1,500 hiring managers were asked about the topic in a survey by UpWork. It found 61.9% of the companies were planning on offering more remote work now and in the years to come. That report also predicts 36.2 million workers, or 22% of Americans, will be working remotely by 2025. How does that compare to pre-pandemic numbers? It’s an 87% jump.

It’s no surprise all this remote work has led to an uptick in home office furniture. Architectural Digest spoke with industry experts who say home offices will increase in 2022.

“Homeowners are trading kitchen counters for more professional dedicated spaces. The Zoom fatigue is real, but so is the realization that the backdrop for those visual calls needs to step up,” said Jean Brownhill, founder of Sweeten.

When it comes to customers who shop mostly online, they expect free shipping and that’s not all: they want their products shipped fast. Despite supply chain issues, shoppers aren’t cutting retailers any slack.

That brings us to the last-mile delivery industry. Time to get to the current trends. 

Market research company Technavio recently reported the LMD market will grow to USD $14.96B from 2021 to 2025, with a CAGR of 15.06%. By 2023, tier one market research firm Gartner Group says 50% of leading global enterprises are projected to be invested in LMD.

Also, according to tier one market research firm, Gartner Group, by 2023, 50% of leading global enterprises will have invested in real-time transportation visibility solutions.

The way goods are being delivered is being reinvented by companies like Fluid Truck, Veho, Onfleet, Tortoise. The growing list of last mile delivery options is good news for many e-commerce retailers, especially because 47% of consumers say they will not order again from a brand with poor delivery visibility.

Big box stores are taking advantage of this new space too. At the start of the new year, Walmart jumped into the LMD market and reserved 5,000 EV-powered vans from General Motors’ BrightDrop. Walmart plans to use the vans for LMD of online orders and in an effort to expand its “food aisle to fridge” service.

Coming directly from Tom Ward, the senior VP of last-mile for Walmart: “As important as it is that we save our customers time and money through convenient delivery options, it’s just as important that we focus on creating a more sustainable last-mile delivery fleet that avoids emissions.”

Fluid Truck’s Virtual Fleet Management is Increasing Efficiency in the LMD World.

The days of standing at a frustrating rental counter or purchasing new vehicles are over. Need an extra van? It’s as easy as downloading the Fluid Truck app and reserving one nearby. You can unlock the vehicle using the app within minutes. Thanks to our team of engineers and groundbreaking technology, users with a Fluid Truck business account can do everything in the app from managing payroll to checking the location of vehicles.

At Fluid Truck, we are pros at providing a solution to those tricky moments business owners face these days. From explosive demands to trouble having enough vehicles to meet the increase in drivers, we’ve got it covered. Just need a few extra vehicles during busy seasons? That’s where Fluid Truck for Business comes into play.  Want a fleet year-round without the overhead? No problem. Business accounts even have the option to have a vehicle dropped off or parked at a nearby location. The process is easy and you can sign up for a Business account here.