Chilled

Walmart makes an early bet on direct-to-fridge delivery as the grocery wars heat up

Thursday, January 6, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
When the carrots get home before you do [Westend61 via Getty Images]

When the carrots get home before you do [Westend61 via Getty Images]

Oat milk restocked while you’re at yoga… Walmart is doubling down on its “InHome” delivery option, which lets shoppers hire deliverers to drop perishables directly into their refrigerators while they’re out. Camera-wearing associates will even trek back for returns (wrong brand of almond butter). Walmart first launched direct-to-fridge in 2019, and has 6M customers in cities like Atlanta and DC. Last year it unveiled an outdoor "smart cooler" to keep groceries cold on your doorstep. Now…

  • Walmart aims to expand the service to 30M customers by the end of 2022, with plans to hire 3K employees to grow InHome in cities like LA and Chicago.
  • Premium price: InHome delivery costs $20/month or $148 a year, while Walmart’s regular doorstep drops cost $8 to $10/month.

Frozen-pizza delivery… Walmart wants the whole pie. For years, it has scaled its grocery biz with options like click-and-collect (order online, pick up curbside). Last year, Walmart sold over $250B in groceries, making it the world's largest grocer. Its delivery services now reach 70% of the US. But it has seen increasingly fierce competition from Amazon, Instacart, DoorDash, and Grubhub as shoppers doubled down on delivery during the pandemic. None of those rivals, though, have made the direct-to-fridge plunge.

THE TAKEAWAY

The inventive bird gets the worm… In a saturated and ultra-competitive market, innovation is key to staying on top. The online grocery-delivery market is predicted to reach $93B by the end of the year, but fewer than half of all grocery consumers are loyal to just one store. Walmart’s differentiating with premium in-fridge delivery to add convenience value in a push to snag customers early.