Home quarantine does not only force us to become more creative in our usual lifestyle, but also revive old ways with a modern twist. Grocery trucks circling the streets of local neighbourhoods with voice-over speakers perched on top of the truck, inviting people nearby to buy fresh produce, used to be a popular alternative to supermarkets. As more shopping malls and air-conditioned convenience stores were set up in all corners of the country selling ready-to-eat meals, the mobile grocery truck businesses suffered a severe decline. But now, with quarantine measures in place, restrictions of movement are a welcome phenomenon for this old-school delivery service, bringing a selection of fresh produce right to one’s doorstep. Simummuang Market, Thailand's biggest vegetable and fruit distribution centre located in Pathum Thani province, has offered to help vendors boost sales by using this mobile grocery truck model with an added digital solution.
The project has put the information of 1,000 trucks on Google Maps, complete with license plate numbers and drivers’ phone numbers, so they can easily be located and therefore, called by nearby customers. The vendors can take advantage of the Simummuang Market’s already well-known reputation as a brand name for fresh produce, as well as help promote the Market in wider communities. Additionally, the Market has recently launched a grocery delivery service operated by taxi drivers, as another business model. Other sectors are getting creative, too. Many restaurants across the country have joined the "Food for Fighters" project that provides free, freshly prepared meals to medical staff in many hospitals. This project has also helped businesses continue operating without having to lay off employees.