Ever since Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017, grocery chains big and small have upped their technology game to make sure they aren’t crushed by Bezos’ behemoth. The result has been more options than ever for grocery shopping, pickup and delivery.
This battle is far from over, and in the last week alone, grocery giants Walmart, Target and Kroger have made moves suggesting the fight has only just warmed up.
At the end of last week, TechCrunch uncovered Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited subscription service. For $98 a year, customers can order groceries for delivery without having to pay the $9.95 delivery fee.
Meanwhile, Target last week announced it was expanding same-day delivery for more than 65,000 items on Target.com for a flat fee of $9.99 per order. Customers must have a Shipt account (Target owns Shipt), which costs $99 per year.
Not to be outdone, Supermarket News reports Kroger has been quietly testing out a new service in its hometown of Cincinnati, OH called Kroger Rush that will deliver groceries in a half hour. Users must download the Kroger Rush app and pay a $5.95 fee per order, and the service seems to be aimed at people who want to order lunch or dinner online at the last minute. If that weren’t enough Kroger also broke ground on its first Ocado-powered smart shed, also in Cincinnati, which will use robots to facilitate faster grocery fulfillment and delivery.
For its part, Amazon has been relatively quiet lately in terms of hard announcements (well, if you don’t count its plans to launch a drone delivery service “within months”). The latest grocery rumblings we heard from the Seattle tech giant were around a possible Amazon-branded grocery store chain, though nothing official has been announced.
The bigger point in all of this is that grocery retailers are pushing innovation faster than ever. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that both Walmart and Kroger made our list of Food Tech 25 list of Companies Creating the Future of Food in 2019.
Perhaps things are heating up because it’s the start of summer (pardon the pun), and with kids home from school, more groceries are needed around the house. Whatever the reason, the big players are accelerating their friction-free shopping experiences that will bring food to your front door faster than ever.