With Google testing the market, more ways to get fresh groceries delivered

Google is testing a new service to deliver fresh groceries, including fruits and vegetables, to your door, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Sometime this year, the Internet giant will begin its fresh-food delivery test in two cities, San Francisco and another city. Whole Foods Market and Costco are among its partners.

Already, Google Express delivers merchandise, including dry goods. But Brian Elliott, general manager of Google Express, told Bloomberg that it would be better for merchants and customers if Google delivered fresh food as well:

For a lot of our merchants that have been successful with this, we’re not representing the whole store today. It’s in our incentive, as well as the merchant’s incentive, for us to help customers get the full store delivered to them.

Google’s foray will put it in competition with AmazonFresh, the Amazon food delivery service, and San Francisco startup Instacart, which delivers food as well.

There are logistical challenges in getting fresh food to customers. But there’s also worker issues for companies in the so-called on-demand economy.

Instacart recently offered workers, which include those who hand-pick items at partner stores, the option of becoming part-time employees, as we wrote last month. Some workers who are employed by a contractor for Google Express recently voted to unionize, as we wrote. 

Amazon also appears to be expanding its own food delivery service with something called Amazon Restaurants, which involves partnering with restaurants, as Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Uber, which already has a restaurant delivery service in some cities called UberEats, is working on a store delivery program in two cities, San Francisco and New York, Recode reported.

Uber is aiming for no less than to become the “logistics network of the future,” as Recode describes. But it sounds like Uber will have to fight with Google and Amazon for that mantle.

Above: A Google Shopping Express driver picks up packages of merchandise. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group).

 

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  • Chris

    What has changed since the days of webvan and homegrocer.com to make these current attempts at home grocery delivery economically viable?

 
 
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