Sales of groceries online have more than trebled over the last five years and are predicted to quadruple in the next five (Packaged Facts). Amazon and Walmart remain the dominant players with a combined share of 28 percent of sales. However, smaller providers are also becoming more significant, most noticeably Instacart.
Instacart has recently announced new, and growing, relationships with some of the biggest retailers in the US. Aldi announced that it would roll out Instacart delivery to all of its stores nationwide and, after less than a year of working together, Instacart and Kroger announced that they would expand their delivery coverage by 50 percent.
There is also competition from other delivery firms such as Shipt, whose partners include Meijer and Target and supermarkets that deliver directly or pick up, such as Peapod, Fresh Direct, Safeway etc.
With Thanksgiving just a month away, retailers and delivery service providers will promote their online services heavily to help customers take the stress out of their Thanksgiving shop.
Thanksgiving basket 2018
Edge has created a basket of popular Thanksgiving dinner items in five regions across the country. Due to the large variation in meat offerings in these retailers we have omitted turkey from this basket to allow a fair comparison. In the Los Angeles and Chicago we included alcohol in the basket, a bottle of wine and a six pack of beer, which was not possible in the other regions.
Because of the variation in regional offerings, the value of a basket in one region cannot be compared to another, as the basket will differ to some degree. We have looked at both the shelf price and promoted price to see the effect of bulk buy discounts on the value of the basket.
The effect of multi-buy discounts was most pronounced in Peapod where the effective value of its Brooklyn basket fell 6.5 percent and 6.9 percent in Chicago, making it the sole cheapest retailer in the Chicago comparison.
Food Town, Jewel-Osco, Marianos, Publix and Ralph’s also employ multi-buy promotions., however, it did not change the ranking of the retailers.
The larger retailers showed the benefit of their economies of scale. Walmart was 25.8 percent cheaper than its nearest rival in Los Angeles, it had the sole lowest price on 18 of the 20 products in the basket. Walmart was also 18.2 percent cheaper than Publix in Atlanta, where it again was sole cheapest on all but two items in the basket.
Whilst bulk pricing discounts lowered the effective price of the basket, they may not be attractive to shoppers as they require a higher outlay to get the lower price.
For example, in Brooklyn, the price of a single can of ‘Campbells Condensed Cream Of Mushroom 25% Less Sodium Soup 10.75oz’ in Peapod was $2.19 for a single can the same price as Key Food but 15¢ higher than Food Town. However, the promoted price of this product is $1.64 but it requires the shopper to purchase 10 cans, a total minimum outlay of $16.40.
Peapod (Brooklyn) – 27 October 2018
On the face of it the deal might not look that attractive, however, the deal extends to over 90 products across many brands and other Food Cupboard categories such as Canned Fruit, Canned Vegetables and Herbs & Spices. For those planning Thanksgiving dinner, this deal could appeal.
Peapod (Brooklyn) – 27 October 2018
Food Town had a similar offer on ‘Heinz HomeStyle Roasted Turkey Gravy 12oz’ at 5 for $5. However, the deal only applied to other Heinz gravy products.
Food Town (Brooklyn) – 27 October 2018
Thanksgiving is still 26 days away, so most retailers will have not started their promotional push for the holiday. Edge will be tracking this basket over the next month to see when the supermarkets launch their promotional campaigns and who has the most attractive prices.