Instacart, the renowned eGrocery marketplace, has forged a strategic partnership with discount grocer Aldi to introduce swift 30-minute delivery of convenience store goods. This collaboration is expected to fortify Instacart’s competitive standing within the grocery aggregation sector, positioning it favorably against industry rivals like DoorDash and Uber Eats.
The pioneering venture, christened Aldi Express, entails the launch of a virtual convenience store that offers a wide array of nearly 2,000 products, readily available for on-demand delivery from over 2,100 Aldi locations across the United States. The assortment encompasses essential household items, snacks, frozen meals, and much more.
Ryan Hamburger, Vice President of Retail at Instacart, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the launch, stating, “With this initiative, we aim to streamline nationwide access to customers’ beloved ALDI essentials with unprecedented speed.” Hamburger further emphasized the significance of prompt and efficient deliveries, acknowledging customers’ desire to obtain their desired products whenever needed, be it a last-minute ingredient for a dinner preparation, baby milk, or a late-night snack.
This development comes in the midst of a fierce competition among grocery and restaurant aggregators, as they strive to seize a larger market share in the realm of on-demand convenience sales. DoorDash, for instance, has been diligently working to promote its platform and encourage the adoption of its DashPass subscription program. The company’s efforts include the establishment of DashMart, a convenience dark store offering, as well as collaborations with various convenience retailers.
DoorDash Co-founder and CEO Tony Xu highlighted the company’s evolving role as a comprehensive destination for diverse product categories, emphasizing their commitment to deliver a seamless shopping experience. Xu noted, “Customers expect DoorDash to cater to their needs, whether they are seeking to purchase a baseball bat from Dick’s Sporting Goods or a pound of lettuce from a grocery store.”
Similarly, Grubhub has expanded its operations with the introduction of Grubhub Goods, a digital convenience store, in addition to its partnerships with third-party retailers. Meanwhile, Uber Eats has also curated an extensive selection of convenience stores on its platform.
These endeavors assume paramount importance as consumers exhibit a higher demand for non-grocery items through digital channels compared to grocery items. Research conducted by PYMNTS, which involved a comprehensive survey of over 2,700 U.S. consumers regarding their omnichannel shopping habits, revealed that eCommerce accounts for 12% of food and beverage sales, while a more substantial 21% of health and personal care items are purchased online.
For Aldi, this collaboration signifies a strategic move by grocers to enter the convenience category, thereby enhancing customer engagement and creating new opportunities. Across the Atlantic, British supermarket chain Asda recently made headlines with its acquisition of the United Kingdom and Ireland business of convenience retailer EG Group for nearly $3 billion. Stuart Rose, Chairman of Asda, emphasized the importance of meeting evolving customer needs as a catalyst for growth, stating, “This transaction is centered around driving growth by bringing Asda’s value-oriented approach to an even broader range of communities and accelerating the expansion of its convenience retail business.”
Moreover, in April, Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B, which boasts over 430 locations in Texas and Mexico, announced the launch of its Fresh Bites brand, a convenience store chain.