Uber Eats turns to delivering groceries to offset takeaways slump

Uber Eats said orders for grocery delivery on its platform jumped 59% across Europe in March compared with February as countries locked down to fight the coronavirus, helping offset some of the impact of shuttered restaurants on demand.
Uber Eats turns to delivering groceries to offset takeaways slump

An Uber Eats car and drone is on exhibit at the Uber Elevate Summit 2019 in Washington, DC.  	Picture: Anna-Rose GASSOT/AFP/Getty
An Uber Eats car and drone is on exhibit at the Uber Elevate Summit 2019 in Washington, DC. Picture: Anna-Rose GASSOT/AFP/Getty

Uber Eats said orders for grocery delivery on its platform jumped 59% across Europe in March compared with February as countries locked down to fight the coronavirus, helping offset some of the impact of shuttered restaurants on demand.

Uber Eats, which competes with the likes of Deliveroo, Takeway.com and Just Eat in online meal delivery, already offered alcohol and selected products from convenience stores.

European general manager Stephane Ficaja said Uber Eats’ store sign-up rate had doubled in March as convenience outlets looked for new channels to serve customers advised to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.

“Everything that we are doing on grocery and convenience is driven by the fact that we are seeing strong consumer appetites from new consumption trends, people who are confined and cannot go out,” he said.

The data underlines the scale of the industry push into the grocery market, where it sees a gap for must-have products delivered much quicker than online orders from major supermarkets and the likes of Ocado.

The decline in households ordering online meals for delivery across the sector in March has provided an additional impetus to seek new revenue streams.

It also shows how shops are finding news ways to serve customers as the lockdown across the region continues.

More than 1,000 grocery and convenience stores were on Uber Eats’ app in Europe and more than 3,500 globally, he said, helping meet strong demand for essential foods and staples in Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden.

Uber Eats, a unit of ride-hailing service Uber Technologies, teamed up with French supermarket Carrefour this month to help Parisians obtain food, toiletries and cleaning products within 30 minutes on average, while in Spain it is working with service station operator Galp in 15 cities including Madrid, Valencia and Seville. Carrefour said the Uber Eats app was enabling it to deliver everyday products Reuters.

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