Grocery Delivery Digest

March 23, 2021

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

A lot of news coming at you on all fronts this week! There are some very interesting concepts developing these days. Have you heard of Urbx? They’re engineering some interesting and somewhat unusual ways to handle grocery fulfillment. Walmart decided it could go a bit further to get your groceries delivered to you; they’ll go ahead and drop the groceries off in the fridge. News on that below.

There’s a lot to get through, so without further adieu, your Grocery Delivery Digest! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Issue #48

Instant Food Deliverer Fridge No More Bags $15.4M Series A To Change Grocery Habits

Sometimes in the middle of making dinner, you realize you don’t have that one vital ingredient. Rather than race to the grocery store, Fridge No More will do it for you.


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FreshDirect Looks To Micro-Fulfillment for Post-Pandemic Expansion

New York-based grocery delivery service FreshDirect, for one, was able to expand its user base and grow its sales. Now, coming off of a strong year, and in the wake of its recent acquisition by Dutch grocery giant Ahold Delhaize, FreshDirect is poised for post-pandemic success.


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Meet the Vertical Automated Grocery Store

Boston-based startup Urbx aims to build its futuristic stores in cities across the country and provide micro-fulfillment technology to retailers.


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Good Eggs’ Grocery Delivery Expands the Concept of Local Eating

Good Eggs, which recently raised $100 million in funding, may be named with a pun, but it takes that name seriously. The company touts its “absurdly fresh” ingredients, its sustainable sourcing, and its treatment of employees.


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Imperfect Foods Sets Sights on Net-Zero Carbon Footprint by 2030

E-grocer Imperfect Foods announced Monday it plans to become a net-zero carbon company by 2030.


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Homebase + Walmart InHome Team Up for Grocery Delivery into Your Apartment Fridge

Residents at Homebase-enabled apartment communities in the Kansas City area can sign up opt in for Walmart InHome; a unique service that offers unlimited free delivery of groceries directly to residents’ refrigerators whether they are home or away.


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Wright's Market Plans E-Commerce Initiative To Fight Food Insecurity

The Alabama grocer has teamed up with Auburn University to help food-insecure seniors and families with young children place online orders.


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Drone Delivery Provider Flytrex Lands $9M To Scale US Operations

Flytrex, which is conducting a drone delivery pilot in North Carolina with Walmart, has secured $9.3 million in additional funding to expand its operations and finalize Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification for drone deliveries.


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Instacart May Delay IPO Until Late 2021

After reportedly being prepped for an initial public offering (IPO) early in 2021, Instacart may be rethinking that plan.


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Instacart’s Harsh Ratings System Hurts Grocery Delivery People Like Me

"Instacart does not give us insight into whom our low ratings come from, only a dose of paranoia and anxiety to figure it out and save our income."


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Sobeys Parent Empire Agrees To Buy Majority Stake in Longo’s for $357M

Sobeys’ parent Empire Co. announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to buy 51 per cent of independent grocery chain Longo’s and its online service Grocery Gateway in a deal worth $357 million.


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GreenBank Capital Announces Agreement To Buy Stake in Beelivery

GreenBank Capital Inc. is absolutely delighted to announce that it has reached commercial agreement to acquire a significant shareholding in, and provide merchant banking services to, Beelivery the UK-based, fast-growing and profitable online grocery delivery platform.


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Is Ocado’s 40 Percent Revenue Growth the ‘New Normal’ for Grocery Retail?

For the quarter ending Feb. 28, sales for Ocado Retail, a retailer created by Ocado Group and by U.K.-based department store Marks & Spencer, totaled 599 million pounds ($829 million), and the average cost of an order, the Guardian reports, was up to 147 pounds from 110 pounds, a 34 percent increase.


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London’s Jiffy Picks Up £2.6M Seed To Enter the Grocery Dark Store Race

Another online grocery delivery and “dark store” operator breaks cover today: London-based Jiffy, which aims to deliver fresh groceries and household essentials in around 15 minutes, has raised £2.6 million in seed funding as it readies for launch.


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East of England Co-Op Extends Same-Day Grocery Delivery Service with Snappy Shopper

Following a successful pilot and a progressive roll-out which began in early December 2020, an additional seven East of England Co-Op shops have now been added to the Snappy Shopper home delivery app.


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Dublin Gets 'Farmers Market On Wheels' Service

The grocery delivery program was launched by two Bay Area natives to help farmers during the coronavirus pandemic and features local items.


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Dija Acquires Cambridge-Based Genie To Expand Its 10-Minute Grocery Service Across UK

Dija, the London-based grocery delivery startup backed by Blossom Capital, Creandum and Index Ventures, has acquired Cambridge, U.K.-based Genie, in what looks in part like an acqui-hire.


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MatHem.se Scales Grocery Delivery App with Amazon EventBridge

Not only did grocery delivery companies have to scale up their physical infrastructure to meet new demand, as well as health and hygiene standards, their technology stack also had to be flexible to scale-up seamlessly. MatHem.se is Sweden’s leading independent pure-play online grocery retailer.


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Can Uber Eats, Delivery Hero and DoorDash Make Money in the Grocery Business?

Food-delivery apps are racing to deliver groceries, a notoriously low-margin and competitive business.


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Smaller Grocery Delivery Services Specialize To Stand Out Against Retail Giants

Amid the razor-thin margins of grocery delivery, the largest companies tend to be at a huge advantage, able to leverage their nationwide (or even international) infrastructure to gain market share, while smaller players must specialize to distinguish themselves.


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As Grocery Moves Online, It’s Predicted To Have a Long Shelf Life

With accelerated take up across demographics and geographies, online groceries have after a decade of sluggish take up reached an inflection point.


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