Aggregators’ Race to Capture Grocery Opportunity Heats Up

grocery, delivery

As same-day delivery aggregators continue to look for new everyday categories to drive usage, leading players in the space have been stepping up their grocery presence.

Most recently, Grubhub announced Tuesday (June 25) a partnership with Albertsons Companies to deliver from close to 1,800 of the grocer’s stores across seven banners.

“Through this exciting partnership, we’re giving consumers more choices while maximizing value so that they find exactly what they need on Grubhub delivered right to their door,” Craig Whitmer, vice president of new verticals at Grubhub, said in a statement.

Just a week earlier, Uber announced the addition of more than 600 Save a Lot locations to the Uber Eats and Postmates marketplaces, indicating a move not only to grow grocery penetration overall but to specifically attract budget-minded customers to the vertical.

“Many consumers are price-conscious, and we’re excited to continue to partner with brands like Save A Lot to increase value for Uber Eats consumers,” Deryl Sanders, the delivery and mobility company’s director of U.S. grocery and retail partnerships, commented.

DoorDash, meanwhile, is looking to drive adoption of its existing grocery options. The same day as Uber’s Save a Lot announcement, DoorDash and Aldi debuted a promotion whereby consumers who order meat or seafood are entered to win a $250 credit to get a private chef to prepare their order.

The company also looking to make its grocery offerings more accessible. DoorDash on Tuesday announced a partnership with Forage to expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) acceptance on its marketplace.

Consumers, for their part, look for digital technologies to assist with their grocery shopping routines.

Supplemental research from a survey of nearly 2,500 U.S. consumers the PYMNTS Intelligence ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report revealed that the considerable majority of grocery shopper prefer to utilize digital channels at least some of the time. As of April 2023, 52% of grocery shoppers made such purchases both online and in person, and another 6% did so purely via digital channels.

While these aggregators, which built their following on restaurant orders, have been expanding in grocery, Instacart, which is already known for its grocery selection, is growing its brick-and-mortar reach. On Tuesday, the grocery aggregator said its Caper Carts self-service smart shopping carts will be available at select locations in Missouri of Price Chopper and McKeever’s Market & Eatery.

“Caper Carts can enhance the shopping experience through personalized interactions, such as loyalty discounts,” David McIntosh, vice president and general manager of connected stores at Instacart, said in a statement. “They integrate smoothly into existing store operations and unlock incremental revenue streams for stores.”

This move comes as Instacart looks to close the digital gap between grocers and other kinds of retailers. The PYMNTS Intelligence report “2024 Global Digital Shopping Index: U.S. Edition,” created in collaboration with Visa Acceptance Solutions, finds that retail and grocery shoppers in the U.S. look for comparable digital features. However, individuals participating in Click-and-Mortar™ retail experiences — those that integrate digital technologies into the in-store experience — utilize a wider range of features and do so more often than their grocery counterparts.

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