New York City has become a testing ground for ultra-fast grocery delivery, with orders delivered in 15 minutes or less. In the last year, startups such as Jokr, Gorillas and GoPuff have left legacy delivery services like Uber Eats and Instacart scrambling to keep up in the speed wars. Now, Instacart is reportedly planning a pilot of 15-minute grocery deliveries, and DoorDash just announced that it is introducing a speed delivery service in NYC beginning with its convenience store network DashMart.
Beginning Dec. 6, 10- to 15-minute delivery is now available for more than 2,000 items from NYC DashMart merchants, including fresh and frozen grocery staples, snacks, household goods and local products. To start, ultra-fast deliveries will be offered from a new DashMart location in Chelsea, with more locations and partners coming over the next few months. To aid its efforts, DoorDash also announced that it had formed a small business advisory council in NYC to “help inform our future partnership with the city’s small businesses, inclusive of bodegas.”
“As the largest and most reliable logistics network in the U.S., DoorDash is positioned to enter this emerging industry and provide consistent quality, speed and convenience that customers know and trust,” said Christopher Payne, President of DoorDash in a statement. “Many New Yorkers already turn to DoorDash for their next meal or essentials purchases, which puts us in an exciting place to deliver on the promise of ultra-fast delivery. Consumers increasingly expect an effortless, enjoyable experience, so while we are starting with DashMarts, our goal is to expand this offering to select grocery and convenience partners.”
Indeed, ultra-fast delivery looks to the be the next frontier in the e-grocery wars, but whether it can be achieved without stressing employees and the bottom line remains to be seen. Just last week, reports surfaced that instant grocery delivery service 1520 was shutting down after exhausting its funding. Still, investors clearly see potential in the space — Jokr has become a unicorn just nine months after launching, with a Series B raise of $260 million that values the company at $1.2 billion; the Europe-based Gorillas raised close to $1 billion in Series C funding this October; and category leader GoPuff is valued at $15 billion after raising another $1 billion in its Series H funding round in July 2021.