There is no rational, fiscal explanation for the joy I experience when I get in a Lyft with free snacks. “Free snacks!” I exclaim, in the same tone I use to shout “horses!” when I’m in a car that passes by horses. The gum or mints or candy aren’t a huge windfall, but their unexpected presence is sure to earn the driver a 5-star rating in my book—unless they accelerate erratically, can’t navigate for shit, or still have that Gotye song on their driving playlist.
A new startup called Cargo recognizes that not only do ride-share passengers like me love these freebies, but we’re a captive audience. Forbes reports the company just received $5.5 million in investments to get their Cargo boxes into ride-sharing vehicles. The items will mostly remain free, with companies offering the free samples to Cargo to gain exposure, but customers can also purchase larger items like a device-charging cord. Cargo describes the service to Forbes as “arm’s-length convenience.” For their part, drivers earn a $1 commission per order and a 25 percent cut of sales.
The roster of potential goodies in a Cargo box is impressive: Pringles, Skittles, Advil, a Korean skincare sheet mask (be still my heart). And because Cargo uses ride-sharing apps’ driver API, it can see their driving habits and customize boxes to drivers’ patterns: more salty snacks for late-night rides, say, or more tech gadgets for the commuter crowd. It all got me thinking of my dream in-car goodies box; read my suggestions below, Cargo, and feel free to share any portion of that $5.5 mil in return.
- Orbit gum, mint flavors only
- La Croix—no coconut
- Sunscreen packets for us pasties
- Reese’s peanut butter cups
- Tide To Go pens, for Reese’s triage
- Tampons, with and without applicators (ladies have preferences, k?)
- Mini nail files
- Emergen-C packets
- Half-slab of Domino’s Stuffed Cheesy Bread—wait, is that too much to ask?