TODAY

TODAY   |  July 17, 2013

Best mail-order food: Lobster rolls, pie, more

It’s estimated that $12.8 billion will be spent on online food sales and beverages this year. To help you get the most bang for your buck, TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky shows some of the foods you might want to serve at your next event.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on common sense, mail order food. $12.8 billion will be spent online mail order sales of food and beverages this year.

>> that's a lot. with summer picnic season in full swing, we take a look at the foods you might want to serve as your next outdoor event. jean, how are you doing?

>> i'm good.

>> you find by and large, at least in this unscientific survey you got a good deal when you got your stuff?

>> we did although there's a few things you have to keep in mind. first, shipping costs because they can add a third or more to the cost of what you're buying when you see that price online so just watch out. also be really careful to watch shipping times. if you need to get it for a particular day, you want to make sure that is actually possible. some sites don't ship over the weekend. some can't do two-day delivery when you want it. and if you're confused because these are small companies which make wonderful food, pick up the phone and talk to somebody. don't just use the search engine.

>> we tried to put together a nice summer picnic. the ribs, where did you go for these?

>> cincinnati. i know you think cincinnati chili but cincinnati ribs from montgomery inn . $119 for four racks of ribs plus the sauce plus shipping. these are delicious ribs. i had them in person before i ordered them. they're a little bit bigger than traditional baby backs.

>> they showed up in good shape.

>> they showed up in good shape. they ship 25,000 orders of these things a year. they know what they're doing.

>> add the sauce and you're good.

>> exactly. we meant to have another product here and i just want to warn people that this sometimes happens, again, with the shipping. our other product got stuck in a traffic accident and was not tli delivered.

>> was the product driving.

>> we don't believe it was. it could have. but we're not going to tell you exactly what it was. just give yourself a buffer in terms of time.

>> what was it driving that truck? okay. here we go. from the harbor gourmet lobster, lobster rolls, $64 for four lobster rolls. they come in a box.

>> is that a lot.

>> lobster rolls are expensive.

>> they're expensive.

>> is that with shipping.

>> that's not with shipping. it's plus shipping. if you go to a restaurant and order a lobster roll you'll pay 15 or $16 and may not be able to get it from maine. they arrived in great shape and they are, you know, traditional maine product. wonderful.

>> people worry about freshness with stuff like this. it's okay to order online for something like seafood.

>> it is. we have ice cream in a minute. they know how to ship cold and make sure it gets there in time.

>> okay. this has to be really great pie unless people have run out of bakers in their neighborhood.

>> this is pie from michigan . it's award winning pie from michigan . it's handmade pie company. this is a four berry michigan pie with a crumble on top. this is your traditional cherry pie . 39.95 per pie. this does include shipping. but you guys should taste because i can't talk and taste at the same time.

>> how quickly does something like this get to you? you order it online and when does it show up?

>> that's why you have to pay attention . this they bake it to order and flash freeze it and then they put it in the mail and gets to you. we ordered thursday it got here on tuesday.

>> ice cream .

>> dr. bob's ice cream from california. dr. bob is an actual academic doctor. he started making ice creams in 1999 in small batches. very high butter fat content. the ice creams are awesome. i suggest that you taste the brown sugar pecan.

>> our other product just arrived by ups.

>> seriously.

>> do we have it.

>> we'll try to get it in here before the end of the show .

>> and we'll taste it. this is the black raspberry . it's amazing.

>> obvious question is if you have ice cream across the street at the grocery store, why are you getting it online?

>> it's made in small batches and i have to say i order ice cream online because sometimes you just want particular ice cream . it's fabulous.

>> take two pints and call me in the morning.