It was back in 2007, when LoveFilm, burst onto the scene, with a simple service of delivering movie rentals through the post. What made the offering so compelling, was not only the huge array of titles on offer, or the price point, but the way that your postman could quite easily deliver your movie rental at the fraction of the price of a traditional courier and certainly more convenient; you didnt have to be in.
The founders of LoveFilm soon sold the company to Amazon, and set their sites on their next goal; Graze.com. Another compelling offer, but this time deliverying all sorts of snacks and treats through the post, the company was soon snapped up by a private equity outfit. The power of Royal Mail is considerable, with their network being able to deliver packages and letters throughout the country overnight. The real trick to getting Royal Mail (or other nationwide postal services) to work for you is to get the weight of your package and dimensions correct so that you can use 1st Class Post for a letter or large letter. For Cure & Simple we use a large letter format, and keep the total weight under 500gms. This enables us to deliver overnight nationwide for under the price of half a pint of larger.
The UK is inundated with fantastic small manufacturers of all types of wonderful foods, who sell their wares throughout a myriad of independant retailers, farmers markets and other regional events. In days gone by unless you happened to live next door to these events being able to experience these foods was problematic. The internet soon filled this gap, and online ordering soon became the norm for these companies to offer their products to a nationwide market. The problem for this is that you either have to buy in bulk or you are hit with a huge courier bill to ship your product to your door. An example, pull up Google, type in “Artisan Bread Online“, select the top link and buy a loaf of “Multi Seed Rye”, go through the checkout process. The product is £2.30 to purchase which seems perfectly reasonable, by the time you get to adding in your card details, the price is over £7.30 for a loaf of bread!! No doubt the producer is also helping to subsidise some of this delivery charge. Suddenly even the most deepest of pockets would struggle to justify the price of a loaf of bread.
Fortunately Cure & Simple, delivery is a straight forward process due to the fact that bacon averages 5mm in thickness and doesnt weigh that much, plenty of other products can also benefit from being delivered by 1st Class Post. What is really needed is a simple method for small producers to be able to ship their products in bulk to a single location overnight, and for consumers to buy multiple artisan items from this single location. The price of delivery is then split between all items in the basket, maybe even on a pro-rata basis. Maybe there is a co-operative out there or an independant artisan retailer who does this already, if you know of any, then please let us know. If their isnt one perhaps the artisan food movement should set one up.