The Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown levels are here to stay, and the recent shift to level 4 has been met with excitement as it allows more restaurants and takeaways to operate, albeit by delivery only.

While we adjust to a new way of life, we are also changing our grocery shopping habits. The convenience of delivered goods means not having to leave home for weeks and, if we’re honest, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The demand for fresh produce and grocery deliveries has skyrocketed since March, with a host of major retailers being unable to keep up.

Checkers has expanded its coverage across major cities in South Africa via its Sixty60 app, with a new R35 flat-rate delivery fee on orders up to a maximum of 30 items.

The delivery app Bottles has changed its strategy to align with Pick n Pay’s new same-day delivery service called Grocery Essentials.

It is available across five provinces at over 90 Pick n Pay locations.There are other independent grocery delivery services that have become popular during lockdown.

Washesha.co.za services the Johannesburg area. The website lets you fill a cart with meat, fresh produce crates, breakfast baskets, individual fruit and vegetables, or toiletries and will deliver within three hours at a chosen time slot.

It also offers monthly subscriptions, express meals, over-the-counter medicine and stationery.

Ferreira Fresh and Tree Sweets are two fresh produce services that deliver.

Ferreira Fresh operates out of a farm in Midrand but has simplified its offering with only two options; a selection of common fruit and vegetables for a large or small family, at R295 or R499.

Tree Sweets is an app available on Android and iPhone that lets you order seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs with free delivery to select areas in Johannesburg, based on a minimum order of R200. 

A vegan online store called Herbivore recently underwent a rebrand and offers a selection of vegan proteins (mince, sausages, burger patties), chocolate, cereals, spreads, dairy alternatives and snacks.

It is currently delivering during lockdown to Cape Town and surrounds, and will be expanding its distribution centres to Johannesburg and Durban in the coming weeks.

We also saw restaurants come up with creative ideas during level 5, which are worth supporting, available on Mr D Food or Uber Eats.

Some of them include meal kits from Johannesburg’s beloved Momo chain of restaurants such as curries, potstickers or stir-fry, available from &O, Soko or Baohaus if you live within its delivery radius.

Soweto-based Native Rebels is also offering meal kits, including chicken wings, burgers, Cape Malay curry and sticky ribs, available on Uber Eats.

Lexi’s Healthy Eatery is selling frozen meals such as lasagna, vegetable korma or risotto, available directly or via the app.

If you prefer a box of ingredients suited to a specific dietary requirement, try Brik Cafe in Rosebank. It has four types: the standard Brik box, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. For those who want ingredients delivered to cook a gourmet meal from scratch, try Ucook.co.za.

The company supports small local farmers and has upskilling projects in place.

Another similar service, Daily Dish, will deliver ingredients with recipes for four nights of the week. Packages include carb conscious, express, vegetarian, fitness and family. It is accessible via dailydish.co.za.

Both Mr D Food and Uber Eats are constantly updating their apps with restaurants that have come on board for the first time, or restaurants that have adapted their sit-down menu for takeaway.

They have also been delivering groceries via independent convenience stores or those within a petrol station.

No matter where you are in the country, if you’re looking for ways to support your favourite sit-down restaurants that cannot open right now, check their social media pages on how you can purchase a voucher to redeem later or donate towards its crowdfunding initiative.