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Old 12-13-2012, 07:58 AM   #1
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Default Milk & More . . .

All,

I a question that I've been pondering and although I would never personally follow this as a company idea, I'm wondering if it would work in the states or elsewhere?

In the UK we have many companies (I use Milk & More) that deliver milk outside your door for as soon as you wake up, like 5am delivery slot.

Would this be something anyone in the US would be interested in?

The idea is essentially not just milk, it's Milk, Cola, Fruit Juices, Eggs, Meat, Cereals, Bread basically almost anything you could get down your local store. Of course there is a small premium on top of your regular price.

I had an idea (and again not one that I would invest in or follow) about moving to the US to start this type of company, i'd look to get some local farmers on board for the eggs / meat / milk to add a unique selling point of local and extremely fresh products.

It's web based, you log into your account and simply place your order before 4pm the day before and it's ready for you in the morning.

A stumbling could be temperatures in the US, our milk is left outside the front door at 5am when it's cool enough to stay fresh even in the summer, I can't see this happening in some of the US states, but this isn't something that couldn't be overcome with a decent coolbag?

So the question is not "What do you think of my business idea" as personally I've not thought enough about it and I don't know what kind of margins etc would be in any of it, BUT the question IS "Would you be interested in a service like this"
Say a pint of milk usually costs 35p would you be willing to pay 55p for locally produced, extra fresh milk delivered to your door at your convenience?

Obviously that's just an example it could be an extra 20p it could be an extra 10p or an extra 40p who knows? Not thought about it enough.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

It used to be that way in the states. 'Back in the day' as they saying goes. There's a joke that if your kid doesn't look like you then people say "he must be the milkman's" (of if he looks just like you then they say "he's not the milkman's'").

In the states, nearly half (or more) of them are going to be too warm all year-round to put anything outside. There's also a very 'I don't trust my neighbor, let alone a stranger' feeling among US citizens in the bigger cities so I don't know how well it would go.

In theory it sounds like a great idea, in practice it probably wouldn't work out all that well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

We in the states also don't like alarm clocks. Set it for 8, plan the milk delivery for 8. But then, get up at 10 and the milk has gone bad...
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

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Originally Posted by superman22x View Post
We in the states also don't like alarm clocks. Set it for 8, plan the milk delivery for 8. But then, get up at 10 and the milk has gone bad...
Surely you have to get up at a certain time for work . . . . . ?

We also have the Milkman term, funnily enough I actually thought it was a very British saying.

OK so at this stage we have temperature and trust concerns. Interesting.

Also bear in mind this could be more than just milk . . . .
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

It maybe just 'carried over'...idk..

I think it's really a temp more than anything. During the summer months, I'd wager 75-80% of the states would be too hot, even in the early morning hours. In the summer months in Ohio, the average low is right around 60°F (16°C). In Florida, one of our southern most states, the lowest average low is 59° (15°C) in January. That's a major concern. Even considering a northern state like Maine, the average low in the summer is just under 60°.

With all that being said, if there was a way and a service, and it was resonably priced, I think it would be ok. An outdoor refridgerator with a lock, perhaps? I'd be interested.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

How long do we think a cool bag with a couple of ice packs in would last?

I did think about it semi seriously once upon a time and thought before I did anything i'd spend two weeks in the states doing some research, questioning on the street, dropping flyers, trying to make contact with local farmers / suppliers etc

But it's something I've never looked at writing figures down, gauging the margin or the projected bottom line as it's not something I want to pursue.

Very interesting feedback tho!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

It would be too easy to poison some one leaving food items on your porch.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

with no milkmen in the states you've missed that quintessentially British past time of early morning milking.
notably this is a sport that you stay up for rather than wake early for.

this has nothing to do with milking cows and everything to do with robbing milk.


(when you're at the right age to go milking the only thing that you're going to do with cows is cow tipping)

As for milk and more, I used to live next door to their dairy buildings in Oxford, their bloody milk floats used to wake me up all the time with the bottle rattling as their vans left the depot.

when I was a kid my parents used to get milk delivered. that's when the milk used to come at about 5am, (and in the winter this meant having to wait a little while for the milk to defrost before you could have cereal!)
then the milkman got lazy and started delivering around 9am, when everyone was at school or work. milk would sit outside all day and spoil. oddly enough enough people disliked this and stopped ordering milk that soon there was no more milkman in our town.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssc456 View Post
Surely you have to get up at a certain time for work . . . . . ?

We also have the Milkman term, funnily enough I actually thought it was a very British saying.

OK so at this stage we have temperature and trust concerns. Interesting.

Also bear in mind this could be more than just milk . . . .
Personally I think this sort of idea is on the decline rather than the rise. Sure, the groceries and other things rather than just milk has saved the day for them somewhat, but the days when almost everyone used to do this are long gone. In all honesty I see the rise of companies like milk and more being more of a temporary thing than a permanent one.

Why? A number of reasons:
  • Trust. People these days are much less trusting than they once were generally, and especially with houses without a porch that open straight out onto the street, it's easy for someone to just walk past and steal the milk. As well as that, it could be accidentally knocked over, damaged, etc.
  • Competition from supermarkets - back when milkmen were popular, the rise of supermarkets that would sell *everything* hadn't really occured. It was just as cheap to buy from the milkman, these days competition from supermarkets mean it's more expensive.
  • Variety - these days people demand more variety, again because of supermarkets. You could make the argument that with *just* milk you can buy bulk in huge quantities and save money that way, but the different types of milk as well as groceries people require these days mean that buying the same thing in huge quantities is much less of an option.
  • More unsociable working hours - I can't find the statistics quickly (unfortunately, so correct me if I'm wrong) but I believe there's been a rise recently of the number of people who work unsociable hours in the last few years, meaning that fewer people will benefit from the 5am delivery time.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Milk & More . . .

also, supermarkets deliver groceries.
including milk, and juice etc.

and you can schedule the delivery to ensure that you are in.
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