Amidst a spike in business during the pandemic, delivery service goPuff announced the opening of its latest facility in downtown Tampa on Monday.
“The past couple of months have been very busy,” goPuff spokesperson Elizabeth Romaine said.
The snacks and groceries to-go app first opened a warehouse near the University of South Florida in September of last year. It has since expanded to locations in New Port Richey and St. Petersburg. For a $1.95 fee, customers can get groceries delivered directly to their doorsteps.
Paper products, cleaning supplies and baking items have been particularly popular during the pandemic, the company said. In Tampa Bay, Seventh Generation and Charmin toilet paper have been in high demand, alongside Lysol disinfecting wipes and over-the-counter products such as Tylenol and digital thermometers. Tampa Bay’s favorite baking items include Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough, Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix and Land O’Lakes butter.
According to goPuff’s data, Tampa’s drinks of choice include Bud Light, Liberty Creek Pinot Grigio and Barefoot Pinot Grigio. Gushers, Slim Jims and Chester’s Flamin’ Hot Fries have also been in high demand.
Huijian Dong, an associate finance professor at the University of South Florida, said companies’ solutions to consumer problems eventually shape habits, and eventually entire consumer cultures. Whereas delivery services gained increased traction as a response to the pandemic, Dong believes their popularity is here to stay.
“Now it’s becoming a habit,” he said. “That is, even after the pandemic, people find it’s convenient, it’s reliable.”
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