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DoorDash Makes Play For D2C Grocery

As the walls separating restaurants and grocery stores continue to decay, DoorDash is using a (metaphorical) wrecking ball to speed up the process with its new partnership. The company announced Monday (June 28) that it is collaborating with plant-based protein company Beyond Meat to offer meat-free grilling kits for July Fourth. The kits feature uncooked Beyond Meat patties, a custom mitt and apron, a bottle opener, grilling tools and a recipe guide.

This raw materials package hews far closer to grocery than restaurant, despite DoorDash being known primarily for its restaurant meal delivery capabilities. The news is part of a concerted push on the company’s part to reestablish itself as an essentials delivery service rather than a meal delivery service, giving the company more wiggle room to drive sales in more categories. The company recently announced a major supermarket partnership with Albertsons as many of the leading delivery services redefine their goals.

“We’re committed to bringing customers all the best of their neighborhoods for every occasion,” Andrew Ladd, director of new verticals at DoorDash, said in a statement, “and as summer gets under way we’re excited to unveil this exclusive kit perfect for any BBQ while giving people access to the essentials they need on-demand.”

Where once the launch of a ready-to-cook meal kit may have had little bearing on restaurants, since the at-home dining occasion was a distinct category, eating options are becoming more interchangeable in today’s connected economy. A recent PYMNTS study, The Bring-It-To-Me Economy: How Online Marketplaces And Aggregators Drive Omnichannel Commerce, created in collaboration with Carat by Fiserv, finds that consumers are now 31 percent likelier to eat their food orders at home than they are to do so at restaurants, while they are also more likely to order groceries through channels previously mostly used for restaurants. Twenty-eight percent of consumers are now purchasing groceries online for curbside pickup more than before the pandemic, and about one in four shoppers are now purchasing groceries for home delivery more than before the pandemic.

Meal kits and cooking kits accelerate this blending, combining some of the ready-to-go -quality of restaurant meals with the hands-on experience of cooking. As Karen Webster described it in May, “This Eat ecosystem — how consumers buy and pay for their food and where they eat it — is quickly becoming one of the most fascinating case studies for how connected economies develop, compete and scale.”

In addition to growing the company’s grocery offerings, this collaboration, exclusively available through DoorDash’s DashMart online store in 14 U.S. cities, also signals a move on DoorDash’s part to guide consumers to its direct to consumer (D2C) offerings rather than its third-party restaurant and grocery marketplace. This move allows DoorDash to retain a far greater portion of the sale, though it may jeopardize the restaurant and grocery businesses that rely on the aggregator to bring in customers.



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