OnTrend Concepts
Grocery Delivery Digest

August 11, 2020

Peter Cook, Publisher

This week we deliver a little less straight news and a little more food for thought. It’s a nice mix. We’ve included some news about drive-thrus. While it is not strictly in the delivery industry, it is focused on off-premise and we thought it would be good to include. Grab a cup of coffee and digest the Delivery Digest!

Have a great rest of the week!

Issue #16

DoorDash Launches New Online Convenience Store DashMart

On DashMart, customers can buy around 2,000 grocery products, household essentials, convenience and restaurant offerings, CNBC reported. DashMart will feature retail products from national brands like The Cheesecake Factory and local businesses like Noms Bake Shop based in Tempe, Arizona.

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DoorDash Adds Grocery Items, Offering More Competition To Amazon’s Prime Now

As the competition among grocers and restaurateurs to cater to the at-home customer heats up, delivery service DoorDash Wednesday revealed plans to meld the two worlds, opening small grocery distribution centers in eight cities that can deliver food items along with laundry detergent, positioning it to better compete with Amazon’s Prime Now.

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Amazon May Turn Dying JC Penney and Sears Stores into Warehouses

Wall Street Journal sources claim Amazon is in talks with mall owner Simon Property Group to convert some of its department store spaces into fulfillment centers.

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Aldi Is Wise To Invest In Amazon Go Style Checkout-Free Technology

Reports surfaced this week that Aldi plans to get into the checkout-free retail technology game.

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Kroger, Try Guys Raise Awareness For Online Grocery Delivery

Kroger is joining forces with YouTube stars The Try Guys for a content partnership to raise awareness for the grocery chain’s online delivery options and to promote Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation.

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Uber Eats is Now Bigger than Uber’s Ride-Hailing Business

The delivery business eclipsed the ride revenue.

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Uber CEO Sees ‘Huge Market’ In Delivery Beyond Food

Uber and its newly acquired Postmates have found rapid growth in home delivery of groceries — and potential for much more growth — during the COVID-19 crisis, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC this morning.

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If Uber’s Food-Delivery Business Isn’t Profitable Now, When Can It Be?

Uber loses money on delivery, and so the rapid growth in this business has not generated the thing companies are supposed to generate: profits.

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Minnow Raises $2.2M for Contactless Food Delivery Pods

Customers can pick up their food from a pod, having no contact with their delivery person

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Market Wagon Looks to Expand Produce-Delivery Service Nationwide

The company, which debuted four years ago, uses proprietary software and legions of small farmers and gig drivers to create an Amazon-like system that delivers fresh produce, meats, dairy products and other Indiana-grown victuals to customers’ doors.

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New Unit Growth at Noodles & Company to Focus on Small-Format Stores with Drive-Up Lanes for Mobile Orders

Digital sales at the fast-casual restaurant chain grew 135% for the quarter; same-store sales improving but remain negative in July; 70% of new units will have smaller floor plans, and be geared for off-premise orders.

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Drive Thru’s Driving Innovation 2

We have already seen several national restaurant concepts pivot to a digital and drive-thru focus. We believe those are some smart adjustments for any chain which offers a quick-service type of concept. A similar pick-up window for your traditional sit-down restaurant may be the next trend we see (see our earlier posting on the idea). We’re waiting to see if grocery chains have a similar shift.

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Pandemic Sparks a Building Boom for Restaurant Drive-Thrus

The conditions created by the pandemic could also make drive-thru lanes more favorable for landlords and municipalities.

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UK: London Startup Launches 15-Minute Grocery Delivery

The firm, which just raised $1.3 million in pre-seed funding, uses bicycle and electric scooters to deliver to the city’s Fulham and Chelsea districts. Customers can order groceries, many of them locally sourced, as well as household goods through Weezy’s app. Delivery costs around $4, and the order arrives in 15 minutes on average.

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UK: Tesco Axes Cheap Grocery Delivery and Collection Slots

Tesco has started charging flat fees for grocery delivery and Click & Collect slots, in a major shake-up which means cheaper times are no longer available and some customers will have to pay much more.

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Japan: Delivery Hero Seeks to Challenge Uber Eats

German online takeaway food group Delivery Hero wants to rival market leader Uber Eats when it launches in Japan later this month, planning to deliver a wide range of products, its chief executive told Reuters.

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You Can Now Get Groceries Delivered to Your Car While You Refuel in Dubai

Zoom and InstaShop have announced a partnership which allows customers contactless delivery to their car.

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For Restaurants Trying To Ditch Delivery Apps, The Struggle Is Real

Casa Vega is one of a growing number of restaurants that have chosen to ditch delivery apps because of high commission rates, safety concerns or both. Although restaurants had complained about delivery apps long before coronavirus, the pandemic has intensified their issues, especially in L.A. County, where 80% of restaurant jobs vanished almost overnight due to COVID-19.

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Off The Menu: Third-Party Restaurant delivery Services have Benefited during Pandemic

One of the major beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic have been the third-party delivery services — Uber Eats, DoorDash, and the like.

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Announcing the Launch of The Ghost Kitchen News Digest

OnTrend Concepts is pleased to announce their latest newsletter: The Ghost Kitchen News Digest. This weekly news digest will research, read, collect, and deliver all the relevant industry news and analysis to subscribers’ inboxes…for no charge.

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Ghost Kitchens – Mergers & Acquisitions

While the ghost kitchen concept is getting plenty of well-deserved press right now, there is one aspect that we believe is worth noting, but which is not yet being discussed: ghost kitchen mergers & acquisitions.

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Delivery Continues to Profit in Pandemic

Delivery companies are still seeing gains during the pandemic as consumers continue to spend more time at home.

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Restaurant Revolution: How The Industry Is Fighting To Stay Alive

As a result, the restaurant industry that emerges from the global pandemic will likely look fundamentally different from the one that existed in early March. How will the COVID-19 crisis change the landscape of the industry, and what do restaurants need to do to survive?

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Working Lunch Podcast: Third-Party Delivery Platforms Turn on the Charm for Lawmakers and Restaurant Industry

This week on the Working Lunch podcast, the team from Align Public Strategies discusses how these companies have tried to change the conversation, their reputation and their role in the restaurant industry.

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Winter Is Coming for Outdoor Dining, So Get Going With Off-Premises

In further proof that you can’t solve the current restaurant industry crisis by flipping a switch, Upserve released new data this week that shows many restaurants are still struggling with off-premises formats.

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Still Facing Double-Digit Declines, Full Service Restaurants Must Transform To Survive

FSRs tried to pivot to save their businesses by ramping up delivery programs, streamlining their menus, and repurposing their parking lots as temporary drive-thru’s, however, the shift to service their customers off-premises was difficult and costly.

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How Will the Pandemic Reshape Urban Fast-Casual Concepts?

With fewer downtown office workers, many fast-casual chains are eyeing suburban locations or rethinking their business models entirely.

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The Supermarket was Dying. Long Live the Supermarket.

With restaurants under lockdown and e-commerce and delivery networks stretched beyond capacity, traditional supermarkets have witnessed record traffic and reclaimed share with a sudden increase in demand.

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Shoppers Settle into Online Grocery Routines

Online grocery buying is stabilizing among consumers but remains higher than it was pre-pandemic, according to a report from shoppable recipe platform Chicory. About 60% of respondents bought groceries online in July, compared with 63% in April and 53% in January of this year.

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A Closer Look at Ohio’s Self-Driving Shuttle Bus Trial that’s Now a Food Delivery Service

"Between now and March 2021, the city will trial smart mobility hubs for first and last-mile transport, and connected vehicle technology to boost road safety. The electric, self-driving Linden LEAP shuttle is also being recommissioned to deliver food assistance, after passenger service was put on hold in February due to a braking incident." A BRAKING incident? Goodness. Don't order any eggs!

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Are You Ready for Robot Grocery Delivery?

Robotic food delivery (or, increasingly, the delivery of anything that fits into a robot) is being tackled by a wide range of companies, from garage startups to retail giants.

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