US – US-based food delivery firm DoorDash Inc has announced plans to launch alcohol delivery across 20 U.S. states, Australia and Canada, facing up to rivals Uber Technologies Inc and GoPuff in the sector’s key growth market.
After soaring in popularity during pandemic-driven lockdowns, food delivery platforms are looking to expand their businesses by offering delivery of beer, wine, and spirits.
Alcoholic beverages offer a new opportunity for growth as online sales have been skyrocketing since the onset of the pandemic.
According to IWSR, U.S. alcohol e-commerce sales approached US$5.6 billion in 2020, up from roughly US$3 billion last year.
Meanwhile, across 10 core markets — Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, and the U.S – alcohol e-commerce sales were estimated to increase by 42%, to US$24 billion, in 2020.
IWSR attributes the sharp increase in alcohol e-commerce sales to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many consumers to alter their buying habits and convert to online shopping in an effort to avoid exposure to the virus.
DoorDash which is intent on capitalizing on this new trend said customers, who are legally permissible, can toggle to the alcohol tab of its app to order drinks from restaurants, local retailers and convenience stores in markets that permit alcohol delivery.
The move could drive a 30% surge in average order values of restaurants and grocers while boosting those of convenience stores by more than 50%, it said.
Rival Uber Technologies Inc earlier this year entered the alcohol delivery space with its US$1.1 billion purchase of Drizly.
Uber has also teamed up with GoPuff, which delivers items such as food, alcohol and medicines in more than 650 U.S. cities.
HelloFresh to spend nearly $60 mln for new hires
Meanwhile, Meal-kit company HelloFresh has revealed that it will spend 50 million euros ($58.91 million) to recruit 1,000 new tech employees across Germany, the United States, Canada, and Australia over the next 12 months.
The planned expansion, which the company said would double its tech team, comes at a time when firms across the world are facing a shortage in labour as economies come out of months-long restrictions.
Dominik Richter, who co-founded HelloFresh with Thomas Griesel and Jessica Nilsson, acknowledged in an e-mail to Reuters that the job market, especially for technology roles, was very competitive now.
“We’re constantly reviewing pay and benchmarking ourselves globally to ensure we offer very competitive total compensation packages,” he said without disclosing how much the company was planning to pay the new hires compared to pre-COVID levels.
The company and its U.S. rival Blue Apron, along with food delivery companies Delivery Hero and Just Eat Takeaway, have been among lockdown winners, as pandemic curbs that shut restaurants led to more people ordering food online.
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