We take them for granted...but most vehicle manufacturers now start their interior design with the cup holders. The cup holder has literally become the anchor for designing our car interiors. This was not always the case: Cup holders didn't appear in cars until the 1950s...when things like drive-in's and eating food on the go started to become mainstream. The first attempts at cup holders were....not so functional. Some early patent filings are shown to the right. Don't they look similar to the cup holders on many shopping carts today?
Thankfully, today, the cup holders in our vehicles have improved dramatically. As our lives have become more mobile, eating and drinking while "on-the-go" has become commonplace. Cup holders aren't a convenience in our vehicles, they are a necessity. The same can be said for grocery shopping.
We no longer just go to the store to endlessly shift through aisles of merchandise, wait in line and go home. Grocery shopping is filled with multi-tasking. Convenience has become paramount.
The shopping cart is really our grocery store minivan. It's not just a place to put our merchandise. We have to have our phones out to look up what carrageenan is. We also need our phones primed and ready if we happen to be shopping at a retailer that offers scan as you shop. We may need to sample that beer at the bar before we buy some to take home. If we're in a rush and we really need to drink that coffee as we shop - putting it in a flimsy metal ring down by our knees just won't cut it.
"Conveniences" like cup holders can no longer be an afterthought add-on like they first were with automobiles of the 50's. The automobile industry has adapted as society has changed. It's time for shopping carts to adapt as the grocery industry changes. That means having a functional cup holder (or two)...a phone prop and bag hooks.
You can check out these features on Bemis carts here.