Ordering tender coconut online- BigBasket Experience, pros n cons!

My readers would know I like tender coconut- I usually drink it from roadside vendors who cut it open and serve fresh. Over time I have figured out what kind of coconuts are not good (overripe/too young etc) and can stop the vendor if he tries to pick a bad one in his stock clearance attempt.

These days everything can be done/ordered online. But the idea of ordering tender coconut online didn't occur to me till November 8. After demonetization, cash became short supply and every few rupees had to be conserved, as it was not clear when all ATMs will return to normalcy, when we will have enough change for 2000 and 500. This sort of affected my tender coconut consumption as I had to conserve cash and coconut vendors in my area won't accept card/coupon/paytm etc. Unlike other countries, supermarkets here do not stock fresh tender coconut. I made below FB update...
One alternative was Palm dew tender coconut powder pouches worth Rs 15 each- just mix water and it is ready for consumption.

The other alternative was processed coconut water sold in tetra packs- bit expensive and doesn't sound natural.

At this moment Katie alerted me to availability of real tender coconut water on BigBasket.com. I had to wait for a few days before I could order, as cyclone had disrupted power and internet. Finally I ordered 4 units online, medium size, Rs 35 each and Rs 20 extra for delivery. I ordered 4 units of medium size coconuts for Rs 35 each + Rs 20 delivery to check it out.

Sure enough, same evening the Big Basket delivery guy knocked my door. Be brought them inside big cooler boxes inside his backpack. 4 coconuts occupied 2 of his boxes, I guess he had to make an entire trip almost exclusively for me as my orders occupied most of his space. (Big basket has a fleet of bike and mini trucks, they use one as deemed fit)

Of the 4 I had ordered, 3 were medium size, one was slightly bigger. They came wrapped in thin plastic and a straw was included for each of the coconuts. They were chopped nearly on the top, hence with some minimum effort I could cut them open to drink. But chopping them into half for the inside content was a complicated process, dirtying the floor in the process. I wish the delivery boy also carried a machete and chop it open for me...

Pros of ordering tender coconut online...
  • Door Delivery
  • Same/similar price as roadside vendor
  • Fairly good quality
  • Convenience of paying without cash
  • Satisfaction of paying tax (amount included VAT)
Cons of online ordered tender coconut
  1. Time taken to delivery- usually if you order in the morning it will be delivered by evening, about half a day's wait
  2. Delivery charges- Rs 20 delivery charges apply unless order exceeds Rs 1000. Though individual coconut is priced at par with roadside vendors, the economy works out only if ordered in multiple units like 4-5.
  3. Cutting open the shell to eat inside meat (malai) is a messy affair- unless you have proper equipment, chopping the shell into half is an effort intensive process.
  4. Disposal: Coconut shells are heavy and take space- one unit can completely fill up a small size waste bin. So you will have to dispose off these shells on your own which is extra effort. #3 and #4 make it much more convenient when purchased from a physical vendor. I feel bad throwing a shell without checking if there're edible contents inside.
  5. Extra plastic: The coconuts came wrapped in a plastic layer to keep them fresh. Plus the sticker and a straw. This results in more plastic wastage while coconut on its own is completely biodegradable.
  6. Delivery window is like 2.5 hours- need to wait at home during this timeline as exact timing is not known. Usually not a problem but if you have plans to go out, not being able to plan sort of ties your hands.
Above image by Kudpi Raj, clicked in Mangaluru.

So overall, I am happy that now there is one more way to order tender coconut, at my convenience, but the drawbacks seem to outnumber the convenience aspect. Few vendors in my area have now started accepting PayTM, so I would continue to prefer having it live from a roadside shop and use online mode only as a backup option.

Similar: Snowball style coconut in Malaysia * Table top coconut grater * Innovative tender coconut opener
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4 comments:

  1. You should be appointed as the Brand Ambassador for Tender Coconuts. Coincidentally , the Sanskrit name for coconut is ShriPhal, so you do, sort of own it, Shri...Nidhi.

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