Is Delivery Agnosticism Taking Over?

The Lempert Report
March 17, 2016

It's time for Supermarkets to connect their prepared foods or grocerant offerings to on-demand food delivery options

As meal delivery heats up, and Silicon Valley pours more and more money, actually a record $5.7 billion last year in on-demand food tech start-ups according to CB Insights, we wonder just how this trend will evolve. Will there be dozens of players, or will just a strong few survive? 

In a New York Times column, authors Peter and Maria Hoey point out how one could have spicy clam and chorizo pasta delivered by Munchery one day, a Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities dropped off curbside by UberEats on another, or come home to a box of ingredients for chicken schnitzel from Blue Apron if you're in the mood to cook. More choices than ever before, with what result, and where does that leave the supermarket?

Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for research firm NPD  told the Hoeys that "consumers want the 'dining out' experience of quality food, but they're saving money and time by having food delivered to their homes, there is the appeal of being in the comfort of their own homes and not having to deal with the hassle of the outside world."

How much of the on-demand food delivery world is about the food? And how much about the service, and its relationship with the user, rests with companies like Amazon, UberEats, GrubHub, and Blue Apron.

The mouthwatering photos you see on your daily UberEats email no doubt gives us pause to at least consider that today’s lunch might be extraordinary. And for those looking to be more involved, Purple Carrot meal in box organic and seasonal delights might be just the answer.

Either way, the call to action for supermarkets is now. Connecting your prepared foods or grocerant offerings with Instacart or UberEats is now, before you are not even a player in the food meal delivery game.