Let’s face it, we aren’t getting any less busy. As we all juggle jam-packed schedules, the convenience of services and apps that can efficiently bring food to us is squarely in the spotlight. In all likelihood, you have already tried or you rely on food apps and services that make getting good food hassle-free. Even the names of some of the emerging apps in this arena reflect ease and efficiency. Just consider Seamless, which lets you browse menus from local restaurants, order within the mobile app, and have the food delivered to you quickly.

Meanwhile, the market for food delivery service for daily meals is exploding. Here, you may think of providers such as Blue Apron, Fresh Direct, and Hello Fresh, but titans including Walmart and Amazon are muscling into the market. We recently tested a Wagyu burger meal kit delivered by Amazon and the experience was as easy as it was tasty. The purchase experience, delivery time, packaging and presentation, cooking experience and quality of meal were all high-caliber. Here is a shot of the plated Wagyu burger kit meal from Amazon:

The finished meal

Should the Blue Aprons of the world be concerned as titans encroach on their businesses? The answer is yes, and the reason is that the titans are in command of powerful location intelligence driven by big data. Not only do goliaths like Amazon and Walmart oversee gargantuan data stores that include information on consumer preferences, but they have ever more powerful tools to yield insights from that data. They know where you are, what you like, what your delivery preferences are, and much more.

Over the years, a player like Amazon has learned powerful lessons about customer loyalty, leveraging delivery infrastructure, and more. These players can harness sophisticated location intelligence.

As this blog post notes, Instacart, a same day grocery delivery service, has published a series of choropleth data visualizations showing the deliveries that it fulfills over seven days, by analyzing GPS generated location data for orders across many locations, as seen here:

These visualizations help Instacart optimize its location intelligence. According to the company: “The application that decides what orders each shopper should fulfill is called our ‘fulfillment engine,’ and it is just one component of our overall logistics system, which also forecasts demand and shopper behavior, manages capacity and busy pricing and plans and adapts our staffing.”

Take a look at some of the visualizations here, and the discussion of machine learning algorithms, to see how sophisticated location intelligence can truly be.

According to a recent Forbes Insights report, “The Power of Place: How Location Intelligence Reveals Opportunity in Big Data,” location intelligence is becoming a very competitive arena. “Organizations today are using location-based data and analytics to do just that in a number of ways, from reducing costs through augmenting address verification to improving customer experiences with in-store location technology.”

On the food tech front, where delivery windows and personal preferences really matter, location intelligence is a rapidly growing business differentiator.

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