Tesco partners Manna to launch drone deliveries in Ireland

IRELAND – Tesco, one of the world’s largest retail chain, has partnered with Irish start-up Manna to introduce Ireland’s first drone delivery service for grocery shopping.

According to Tesco, the project is being rolled out on a trial basis and will run for several months initially.

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Tesco’s Oranmore store in County Galway will be the inaugural location for the drone services and drone delivery will take place within a 2km range of the store.

Customers in the Oranmore area will have a chance to order goods for delivery by drone from a dedicated website.

The goods will be then prepared by a Tesco colleague in-store, loaded onto a drone and then delivered to customers.

“It’s clear that drone delivery provides a faster, cleaner, safer, cheaper and higher quality alternative to road-based delivery. We are excited about how that will improve the world.” ​

Bobby Healy – CEO, Manna

The entire order-to-delivery process is estimated to take 30minutes to 1 hour. The delivery part will only take 3 minutes, according to Manna.

Catherine Swift, Store Manager, Tesco Oranmore. said: “We’re really excited about this partnership and delighted that our store in Oranmore is involved in this trial.”

We’re continually looking for new ways to serve our customers a little better and this trial is an opportunity to look at meeting demand for small basket shops and quick delivery. ​

The project is being led by Tesco’s Group Innovation Team, a newly established team looking into the possibility of working with partners on disruptive innovation in the retail space.

Speaking on the trial, Manna’s operations director, Denis Houston said: ​“It is incredible to work with an innovative partner like Tesco on this trial and to be able to provide this delivery service to the community of Oranmore.”

Manna had originally planned to test its technology earlier this year by running a fast food delivery service in Dublin with Just Eat but this project was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.

As the corona virus peaked in Europe, Manna jumped into the band wagon and unveiled the world’s first drone delivery service to carry medicine and essential supplies to people forced to self-isolate in the pandemic.

Manna’s chief executive, Bobby Healy, said: “It’s clear that drone delivery provides a faster, cleaner, safer, cheaper and higher quality alternative to road-based delivery. We are excited about how that will improve the world.” ​

“This technology will transform online food marketplaces, restaurants, dark kitchens, and communities globally.”

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