Grocery Delivery Digest

May 7, 2020

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

As consumers, grocers, and restaurants get used to the shelter-in-place situation, there is lots of news on the topic.  Grab a cup of coffee and take your time to read through this week’s Digest.  It’ll be well worth your time.  And please share it with your colleagues and contacts so they can stay up to speed as well!  Have a great rest of the week!

Issue #2

Wall Street Journal: A Guide to Grocery Delivery During the Coronavirus Pandemic—and After

Here are the times to avoid ordering online and the differences between nationwide services—plus why delivery-checker browser extensions aren’t a good idea


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Walmart is Piloting a Pricier 2-Hour “Express” Delivery Service

Record usage of grocery delivery services amid the COVID-19 pandemic has led to delayed orders, fewer open delivery windows and, on occasion, an inability to even book a delivery time slot. Walmart now hopes to capitalize on the increased demand for speedier delivery with the introduction of a new service that allows consumers to pay to get to the front of the line.


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Uber Eats exits seven markets, transfers one as part of competitive retooling

Uber Eats is pulling out of a clutch of markets — shuttering its on-demand food offering in the Czech Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and Ukraine.


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Uber Revs Up Restart, Will Require US Drivers And Riders To Cover Faces

Drivers for Uber will soon be required to wear masks in several countries, including the U.S., the company said.


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Instacart jumps into prescription delivery with Costco

Online grocery delivery company Instacart is launching a prescription delivery service through a partnership with Costco as demand for online delivery continues to rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Chick-fil-A, Denny’s add meal kits

The two are the latest big chains to try that form of to-go and delivered meals.


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Shake Shack will add drive-thrus, pickup windows to restaurants

Shake Shack is planning to remodel some stores to include drive-thru lanes and walk-up windows in response to social distancing requirements.


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Dunkin’ Expands Delivery Options Through New Partnership with Uber Eats

Dunkin’ delivery with Uber Eats is now available at over 1,700 restaurants, with more than 4,000 total locations nationwide to offer the service by the end of May


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Ordermark Adds Three Times As Many Restaurants Per Month As Eateries Rely On Online Orders

As the coronavirus shut down hundreds of thousands of restaurants across the country, one company has been at the forefront of facilitating the eateries’ last chance to keep their businesses running: online ordering.


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Walgreens Amps Up Drive-Thru Grocery Program

In March, Walgreens expanded its drive-thru offering beyond prescriptions into other store items to give shoppers an alternative during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now Walgreens is going one step further.


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D.C. Becomes Third City to Pass Law Temporarily Capping Food Delivery Commissions

"This delivery service fee cap will make a huge difference in making surviving as a take-out restaurant possible."


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Toast Attempts to Grab Market Share as Delivery App Commission Fees Get Unwanted Attention.

Boston-based company Toast recently debuted a new delivery system that hopes to put more money into the pockets of restaurants.


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Third-party vs. direct delivery: Debate reaches boiling point amid coronavirus

There’s no restaurant roadmap to survive dining room closures. But one thing is certain: pick the wrong off-premise game plan when the stakes are this high, and it could gut your bottom line.


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Delivery app price controls are a recipe for disaster

If these elected officials get their way, drivers risking their health to cater to consumers will see their pay slashed overnight. And, already-struggling restaurants may have to shut their operations down altogether. At this difficult time, local governments must work with – not against – innovative services and apps to keep food on the table.


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April was Papa John's strongest month in its 35-year history

April was Papa John's strongest month in the company's 35-year history, with the chain reporting a 27% increase in comp sales for North America


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Online Groceries: A Convenience to an Obstacle

User1st tested some of the most popular online food order sites for accessibility, finding critical errors that would prevent a person with visual impairments from ordering necessities


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Some operators use PPP money to launch self-delivery

The move comes as tensions continue to rise between restaurants and third-party delivery, and as consumers express growing displeasure with delivery providers.


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How Choco, the Food Ordering Platform, Is Navigating the Tailwinds of COVID-19

Impacts of COVID-19 can be seen in every part of the global economy, but its effects have been more prominent across industries such as air travel or hospitality. The outlook may seem bleak, but startups in these beleaguered sectors are responding to the challenge with extraordinary resilience and ingenuity.


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A new platform created in Montreal takes a different approach to food delivery

Radish wants to upend the business model of food delivery giants


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Online food startups sizzling — but for how long?

Grocery and meal kit startups in Europe have seen record-breaking demand — but as Deliveroo announces big layoffs, it's clear some food delivery giants have a tough year ahead.


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Fresh Direct Hit with Class Lawsuit Over Criminal History Checks

Fresh Direct Hit with Class Lawsuit Over Criminal History Checks.


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8 Grocery Delivery Services You Never Knew About

Writer put together a list of our favorite online food retailers who are still shipping groceries without ridiculous wait times.


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Survey: Almost 90 percent of Americans Say They Want Grocery Stores to Place Buying Limits on Items

A new survey conducted by C+R Research, a Chicago-based markets insight agency, found that 89 percent of American shoppers believe limits should be placed on grocery store items.


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UK's Marks & Spencer launches food delivery service from 142 outlets

Months ahead of its deal with Ocado launching, Marks & Spencer has found a way to make an online food delivery service work at some of its stores


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Grocery Delivery Brands See Surge in Social Media Engagements

Report found that there have been 670,000 mentions of grocery deliveries relating to five delivery services, with the top two being San Francisco-based Instacart, at 572,000 mentions (85%), and Birmingham, Ala.-based Shipt, at 65,000 mentions (10%). The remaining 5% of mentions were divided among Walmart, FreshDirect/Foodkick and Peapod.


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The Most Downloaded Food & Grocery Delivery App in March & April

Per App Annie, Food & Drink apps worldwide saw significant growth during March & April, and Uber Eats maintained its global leadership position as the #1 most downloaded food delivery app.


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Flipkart partners with Meru for essentials and grocery delivery in India

This partnership will help deliver grocery & essential items to Flipkart customers at their doorstep across Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Hyderabad through the safe & sanitised supply chain


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Reliance and Facebook pilot JioMart grocery shopping on WhatsApp in India

JioMart, an e-commerce venture run by India’s most valued firm, is testing an “ordering system” on WhatsApp, teasing the first peek at the collaboration between Facebook and Indian telecom giant Reliance Jio Platforms.


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The Digitization of the Grocery Experience

Consumer demand for online grocery ramping at unprecedented rates in light of the current environment.


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The pandemic is bringing us closer to our robot takeout future

“We saw that business double overnight,” startup says of UK grocery deliveries.


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Ocado Technology trials humanoid robot in UK warehouse

Engineers at online grocery pioneer Ocado Technology have successfully trialled a humanoid robot able to help workers with a range of maintenance tasks at its automated warehouse in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.


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Artificial Intelligence is Accelerating Business-to-Consumer Response

Retailers and CPG companies need to predict where demand will occur, across brick-and-mortar and online channels, and efficiently supply the right quantity of products to thousands and even millions of locations.


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Mother's Day gift baskets, food demand boost sales for flower retailer

1-800-Flowers.com sees demand for delivered food, gift baskets outpace growth of its flowers


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The CBRE Group projects online grocery sales will need a further 75 million to 100 million square feet of industrial freezer and refrigerator warehousing space over the next five years.

From one year ago: Right now, only 3% of U.S. grocery sales are online, but if people start using the system they have been forced into, that could mean a massive shift in how food gets in refrigerators.


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Amazon Looking To Lease Distressed Retail For Its Expanding Grocery Play

Amazon is ramping up its efforts to lease retail real estate for its in-the-works physical grocery store concept, which will be larger than existing Amazon Go cashierless stores and carry a wider variety of merchandise.


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Grocery micro-fulfillment is getting a boost

Nano warehousing is proving to be the last mile solution that mitigates the delays plaguing shipping during the pandemic.


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