If it seems like an inordinate share of online grocery services are starting up in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, there may be a reason for the disparity.
According to data from the March edition of PYMNTS’ ConnectedEconomy™ monthly report, “Mapping Digital Behavior Across US Regions”, consumers in the Pacific region of the United States (California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii) are significantly more likely to order groceries online than those in other regions.
The study, which is based on a survey of a population-based sample of more than 2,600 US consumers, found that 36.5% of Pacific consumers order groceries online. This share is 13% higher than the second region, the Midsouth, where 32.3% of consumers order groceries online, and 56% higher than the region with the smallest share of shoppers. of eGrocery, the Midwest, where only 23.4% do.
Online grocery shopping is on the rise. In mid-2021, only 23% of all consumers bought groceries online, according to data from the PYMNTS study “What Consumers Expect From Their Grocery Shopping Experience”, created in collaboration with ACI in the worldwhich is based on a balanced census survey of over 2,300 American adults.
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The Pacific isn’t just leading the pack in ordering groceries online; it also has the largest share of consumers ordering restaurant-prepared meals online. The study found that 56.2% of locals order food from the restaurant online, 19% more than the region’s second-largest, again the Midsouth, where 47.1% order online. Compared to the Midwest, which again lags behind with only 41% of consumers ordering food online, the Pacific region shows 37% higher adoption.
Many innovations in food delivery are happening in the area, and many large companies are located there. Uber and DoorDash, which operate the two most popular restaurant aggregators in the United States, are headquartered in San Francisco. For the grocery part, Instacart is also based in Golden Gate City.
The region is also receiving many of the first tests of new food delivery technologies. Take, for example, robotic realization. While some of the earliest robotic food delivery tests take place on college campuses, which have the advantage of being very walkable and manageable in size, Serve Robotics, which began as the robotic arm of Postmates and parted ways in February 2021, has its robots doing the rounds in partnership with Uber Eats in Los Angeles.
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“Demand is growing – people want things faster and cheaper,” Ali Kashani, co-founder and CEO of Serve Robotics, told PYMNTS in a December interview. “It’s just not sustainable. The way we do deliveries today, relying on a single human being to move a burrito to its final destination… It just doesn’t scale. It’s not good for cities. It’s not good for the environment and it’s not good for restaurants and businesses. I think now is the perfect time for robots to step in and help solve this problem.