DoorDash launches grocery delivery to compete with Amazon and Instacart

From The Verge: DoorDash is ramping up its on-demand delivery efforts with the launch of grocery delivery, starting with select chains in markets throughout California and parts of the Midwest. The move follows DoorDash’s push into convenience stores earlier this year and its recently announced DashMart virtual store for selling snacks and other food items and over-the-counter goods.

For now, DoorDash is working only with Smart & Final, Meijer, Fresh Thyme, and Hy-Vee, with Smart & Final only serving California customers in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacremento, and San Diego. Customers in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee will have access to Meiher and Fresh Thyme, with support for Hy-Vee support coming at a later date.

Key to DoorDash’s ambitions in grocery delivery are its backend delivery platform, called DoorDash Drive, that it sells to existing chains (including huge grocery players like Walmart) to help power their own delivery systems, as well as the company’s promise of delivery windows as short as its standard meal order ones.

DoorDash Drive allows chain restaurants and grocery stores to create their own delivery systems (and throw their brand name on it), and the company says it’s using the same underlying technology to bring grocery stores’ large inventories over to its main app. That same platform is how chains like Wegmans are able to offer to-go meals and other prepared foods both through the main DoorDash app, where the store is treated like a any other restaurant, and through its own Wegmans2Go app that exists separately from the chain’s standard grocery delivery, which in most markets is in fact powered by Instacart.

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