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The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained

Weed workers across the country are unionizing, and California just made it easier for them.

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a requirement that all cannabis stores enter into so-called “labor peace agreements” as soon as they have 20 or more employees.

California is now one of two states — New York is the other — that requires licensed weed shops to make a deal with a formal labor union in which managers promise not to stop workers from joining a union. And in exchange, organizers won’t encourage labor strikes against the company.

Labor unions have been pushing for these agreements in recent years, as more and more states decriminalize marijuana. They say they want to make sure the $6 billion industry doesn’t exploit workers, who are often paid below the minimum wage or given marijuana instead of wages.

They also see it as a pathway for workers to form a labor union and boost membership. When unionized, cannabis workers have ended up negotiating annual raises, health insurance subsidies, and higher-than-average wages, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which has been organizing cannabis workers across the country since 2011.

California has required cannabis shops to sign labor peace deals ever since 2018, after voters approved a ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana sales. There was just one problem: the law didn’t include a way to enforce the deals, because it didn’t give businesses a deadline to make them.

The new law, signed Friday, gives businesses 60 days to do so. If they don’t, workers can file a complaint with state labor regulators.

This will “provide employees with clarity on when an employer is failing to comply with the laws and a complaint needs to be filed,” said Reggie Jones-Sawyer, the California assembly member who sponsored the bill, according to the industry news site Cannabis Wire.

While the new law represents a small tweak to the current law, it will help unions make inroads in one of the fastest-growing industries. It also represents an unusual approach to labor organizing.

Labor peace deals, explained

The emerging legal marijuana industry is relying on a rare labor strategy once used to organize shipyard workers and casino employees. They’re known as labor peace deals, or LPAs.

Each deal varies from workplace to workplace, depending on what both sides negotiate, but they tend to have some things in common.

First, company managers agree not to dissuade workers from unionizing, and they often agree to give employees’ contact information to labor organizers. They also give unions access to the workplace to meet with employees, as long as organizers don’t disrupt work.

In exchange for access, labor organizers agree not to vilify a company or say negative things about an employer to its workforce. The unions also agree not to encourage workers to go on strike or picket.

As the term suggests, these deals are meant to keep the peace during what can often become a tense unionization process. But the setup only works when employers aren’t trying to stop workers from organizing all together.

For the legal marijuana industry, these deals are sometimes mandated under state law. Aside from California, New York requires its medical marijuana dispensaries to sign labor peace deals. In Illinois, which recently legalized recreational marijuana, the state will consider whether a business has signed such a deal when determining which shops can get a license.

Labor unions, such as the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, have been pressuring states to pass these laws. They see it as a way to boost union membership in a rapidly growing industry.

As the marijuana industry grows, so does union demand

Ten states have fully legalized marijuana sales in recent years, for both medicinal or recreational consumption. About another dozen states allow sales for medical use. As more and more states pass laws allowing businesses to set up shop, the demand for workers will continue to rise.

It’s hard to determine how many people work in the cannabis industry. Because selling marijuana is still illegal under federal law, the US Department of Labor doesn’t track job growth in the industry. But New Frontier Data, a cannabis market-research and data-analysis firm, estimates that the legal industry employs at least 250,000 people who work directly with the plants. That includes people working in dispensaries, coffee shops, bakeries, patient identification centers, hydroponics stores, and growing facilities.

And the growth of marijuana dispensaries is a trend that labor unions are paying attention to.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, better known for organizing supermarket employees, is the now the “most powerful cannabis union” in the country, representing more than 10,000 workers in 14 states, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

“It has negotiated contracts with major operators like MedMen, helped legitimize the movement for cautious politicians, and hammered out pro-worker provisions in multiple state legislatures,” writes Josh Marcus for Rolling Stone.

In fact, it was UFCW that forced the federal government to enforce labor rights for cannabis workers. In 2013, workers at a medical marijuana company, Wellness Connection of Maine, walked off the job that winter, protesting the company’s use of pesticides. The company repeatedly retaliated against workers for trying to unionize with the UFCW, and disciplined several workers who participated in the walkout, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces federal collective bargaining laws.

In October 2013, the company settled the case. By doing so, the NLRB acknowledged that cannabis workers were protected under the National Labor Relations Act — the 1935 law that gave workers the right to unionize.

“Only by sticking together, we were able to find the strength to speak out about the gross violations that we saw at work,” Ian Brodie, a former Wellness employee, said in a statement after the settlement was reached. “By fighting for our union, we are protecting our customers and shaping the medical marijuana industry into a safe and well regulated industry that provides good jobs and needed medicine for our community.”

Cannabis companies like unions more than most employers do

It’s unusual for a company to advertise the fact that its employees are unionizing. But in the legal marijuana industry, that’s normal — a sign that the company is a legitimate business, and not a shady operator growing marijuana in someone’s garage.

In August 2018, employees for the Have a Heart dispensaries signed the first collective bargaining agreement for cannabis workers in Washington state. The company even wrote a press release to announce it: “We consistently strive to have a positive impact in the neighborhoods where we do business, and we see our partnership with [UFCW Local 21] as part of our commitment to creating a safe and empowering workplace,” wrote CEO Ryan Kunkel.

The contract, which covers about 135 workers in the Seattle area, includes comprehensive health care benefits, annual raises, and higher-than-average pay rates for the industry, according to the release. Recreational marijuana sales are fully legal under Washington state law.

Then, last week, cannabis workers in Pennsylvania signed the state’s first collective bargaining agreement in the industry, according to UFCW Local 1776. They work for Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Solutions, a subsidiary of Vireo Health, which operates in 11 markets with legal cannabis.

The new contract sets base wages for employees and provides them with affordable health care benefits, guaranteed annual raises, generous paid time off, and an employer-funded retirement plan.

Wendell Young, president of the union affiliate, described the contract in a press release as a “great win for the future of all workers in the cannabis industry.”

The CEO of Vireo Health, Kyle Kingsley, issued his own statement too, and it suggests that cannabis companies see unions as effective partners in advocating for marijuana legalization.

“We believe that a unionized workforce is key to our company’s success and look forward to partnering with UFCW to support legislation, such as legalizing adult-use cannabis, that will help create thousands of new middle-class jobs across the Keystone State,” he wrote.

Source: Vox

Milkmen are returning to London as millennials order glass milk bottles in a bid to slash plastic waste

Milkmen and milkwomen are making a comeback in London as millennials have started using glass milk bottles in a bid to cut down plastic waste.

Dairies in the capital told of a “phenomenal” upsurge in interest from younger customers at the start of the year amid growing public upset over plastic waste.

Both UK-wide company milk&more and east London dairy Parker Dairies have seen increased demand for glass bottles in 2018, citing David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II as the “catalyst” for the new uptake.

The firms said younger consumers and families seem willing to pay more for the service in a bid to help the environment.

It comes amid conflicting reports of a resurgence in glass doorstep deliveries in the UK.

While it was reported there was a 25 per cent hike in the number of deliveries in the UK over the last two years, Dairy UK told the Standard it could not confirm the figure.

The industry body said figures showed doorstep deliveries make up 3 per cent of milk sales in the UK – around 1 million pints per day – and glass milk bottles make up 3 per cent of all milk sales.

But depot manager of Parker Dairies Paul Lough said interest of late in glass bottles has been “absolutely phenomenal”.

He said the dairy, which has a fleet of 25 electric milk floats covering all of east London, the city and the West End, has gained 382 new customers since the beginning of the year.

Of these new calls, 95 per cent are having milk delivered in glass bottles.

Mr Lough said: “Before Christmas we were taking 30 calls a month, and since New Year we are getting 30 calls a week.”

The dairy has seen a 4 per cent increase in sales since December, with an extra 1800 pints being sold each week.

Mr Lough attributed the new interest to the “regeneration” of the East End since the Olympics.

“People are much more environmentally conscious and so they are asking if we do glass,” he said.

And the dairy has attracted a younger clientele, Mr Lough said, meaning the firm has expanded its product line to cater to the new demographic.

“Without a doubt [they are younger],” he said. “That is why we are trying to change our product list.

“We do sourdough and honeys… we sell 250 loaves a week to new customers.”

Meanwhile, UK company milk&more said it has gained more than 2,500 new customers in the last month – the equivalent of five new milk rounds.

And some 90 per cent of these customers across the country are ordering in the iconic glass bottles.

In London, milk&more has added the equivalent of a whole new round, the company said.

The company – which occupies Hanworth Dairy in south west London – was bought by dairy giant Müller from Dairy Crest in 2016, which pledged to save glass milk bottle doorstep delivery and boost the service.

Dairy Crest had planned to shut down the dairy and review milk&more in light of declining interest in milk deliveries, with plans to phase out glass bottles.

But Müller said it wanted to reverse the plans and “rejuvenate and expand” milk&more.

Milkman Ian Beardwell has been doing the same round in Wimbledon for Hanworth Dairy for 27 years.

He said: “Since Blue Planet that has been the catalyst of the revival in glass.

“I used to do 550 calls before and in four weeks I’ve gained another 35 to 40 calls – 90 per cent glass.

“The trend for new customers has always been to come on board with plastic. But I have always done glass. I think they forgot that I do glass… people just didn’t realise.

“One lady has just come back to me in the last four weeks. I hadn’t been delivering to her for the last 10 years. She told me she just got lazy.”

Patrick Müller, managing director of milk&more, said: “The glass bottle is an exciting product… we think that it has a future.

“We believe the tradition of the milkman has some fantastic elements that are relevant now. They are a reliable presence for pre-breakfast delivery, they offer an exciting product range including locally sourced produce, and can be a part of the community.

“We just have to make them relevant for the modern consumer.”

He said new customers were aged around 35 years old, coming from young families with a double income.

Mr Muller added: “It’s popular with families, so people that care about the local community and local produce.

“They want the story behind their produce but they don’t have the time to get it.

“We talked with customers and they said they enjoy the experience of the glass bottle – the childhood memories – and they want to reduce their plastic wastage.”

milk&more is launching a new website in the next week, Mr Müller said.

Source: Evening Standard

Northwest Grocery Workers Union Approves Contract With Supermarkets

Grocery workers have approved a contract with some of the region’s biggest supermarkets after months of contentious negotiations, a short-lived boycott against Fred Meyer and the threat of a strike.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 announced the ratification late Friday.

The union represents about 20,000 grocery workers in Oregon and southwest Washington. Wages were the dominant issue during negotiations with Fred Meyer, QFC, Albertsons and Safeway.

The union insisted workers weren’t paid enough to thrive in the current economy.

Wages in the Portland area, for example, ranged from near-minimum wage to more than $17 per hour.

Negotiations ended with the help of a federal mediator.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that secures increased wages, continued premium health care coverage and pension stability,” said a Fred Meyer spokesman in a statement.

Multiple conversations with the union about the terms of the contract reveal an agreement in which wage increases for “apprentice” workers — employees with fewer hours under their belts — are driven almost entirely by Oregon’s increasing minimum wage.

On the other hand, most “journeypeople” — a more senior group of employees — should see negotiated wage increases between $1.65 and $2.80 per hour over the life of the three-year contract, according to the union.

The agreement preserves a structure in which apprentices can earn more the longer they work, with pay based on a formula tied to minimum wage.

For example, one group of workers starts at 10 cents more than minimum wage; another group might get paid 25 cents more, etc.

The union emphasized that, under this contract, apprentices will be paid at the same level above minimum wage as they were before.

That means in dollars and cents, the bulk of their raises will be due to increases mandated by state law. The union said that’s a law it fought for in Salem. Kelley McAllister, a spokesperson for UFCW Local 555, said apprentice workers will also benefit from other areas of the contract. She pointed, for example, to a guarantee of 20 hours of work per week, which she said is the threshold for benefits.

She said guaranteed hours should help apprentices achieve journeyperson ranking more quickly. McAllister said the union also made progress closing the pay gap between a group of male-dominated jobs (such as in grocery, produce and beer, wine and liquor) and a group of female-dominated jobs (such as in the bakery, deli or cheese sections).

She said if future contracts continue in this vein, that pay gap should close in nine years.

Source: OPB

Unions Sue USDA Seeking to Halt New Pork Processing Rule

The union representing workers at pork processing plants sued the federal government on Monday to challenge a new rule that allows companies to set line speeds and turn over more food safety tasks to company employees.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and local unions in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas joined with nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen to file the lawsuit in federal court in Minneapolis.

The lawsuit alleges that the new rule announced in September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it isn’t backed by reasoned decision-making and should be set aside.

A spokeswoman for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone said there is no evidence that line speed increases can be done in a manner that ensures food and worker safety.

“Increasing pork plant line speeds not only is a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm’s way,” he said.

Swine slaughter workers regularly have reported extreme pressure to work as quickly as possible, which increases the risk of knife injuries, knee, back, shoulder and neck traumas, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, the union said in a statement.

In June, the USDA’s Office of Inspector General launched an investigation into its rulemaking procedure at the request of 17 members of Congress. Public Citizen and UFCW are asking the court to block implementation of the rule and to set it aside.

Local UFCW units joining the lawsuit represent pork slaughter workers in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; Denison, Iowa and Bel Aire, Kansas.

Source: Edge Media Network

UFCW 8-Golden State Members Ratify Landmark Contracts With Safeway, Save Mart, FoodMaxx, Maxx Value and Vons Supermarkets

Members of UFCW 8-Golden State employed at Safeway, Save Mart, FoodMaxx, Maxx Value and Vons supermarkets in Northern, Central and Southern California voted overwhelmingly to ratify new labor contracts, the Union announced today.

“Union member Solidarity made these landmark contracts possible. Our members have proven once again, Solidarity Works!” UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall said after mail-in ballots were counted on Oct. 3 and 4 at the Union’s offices in Roseville and Bakersfield.

“Our members appreciate the value of their new contracts, which are a model of what can be accomplished through interest-based bargaining,” President Loveall said.

The agreements include meaningful wage increases for approximately 14,000 UFCW 8-Golden State members at the five companies.

In addition, the contracts guarantee continued funding for strong benefits including an additional retirement plan for all members.

“These employers recognized the successes we’ve achieved in progressive health care plan design and our tireless work in re-inventing health care delivery,” President Loveall said.

In separate negotiations, members of UFCW 8-Golden State and other UFCW Local Unions in Southern California approved contracts with Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons in the region in September.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue between UFCW 8-Golden State and Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill and Food Source in Northern California.

UFCW 8-Golden State represents members working in grocery and drug stores, food-processing plants, distilleries, medical facilities and offices.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Stater Bros. workers ratify new union contract

Workers at 172 Stater Bros. stores across the region have voted to ratify a three-year contract with the supermarket chain, a union said Friday.

The contract between San Bernardino-based Stater Bros., Southern California’s largest regionally-based grocery chain, was announced earlier this week on a union website. It was confirmed Friday by Andrea Zinder, president of Orange County-based Local 324.

Zinder declined to discuss the terms of the contract, but when the tentative agreement was announced several weeks ago, it was disclosed that it was virtually the same deal reached by the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Albertsons, Ralphs, Vons and Pavilions chains on Sept, 8. Workers at these stores voted to accept the contract later that week.

Zinder also declined to discuss the Stater Bros. vote margin but said it was “overwhelmingly ratified.” Stater Bros. employs about 17,000 retail workers who are UFCW members.

The deal includes wage increases of between $1.55 and $1.65 an hour over the three years of the contract. It also improves employees’ health care coverage, fully funds pensions and guarantees hours for veteran workers.

The ratification means that only Gelson’s, with locations mostly in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and Super A, with eight Los Angeles County locations, are without contracts. Negotiations are ongoing with both chains.

Southern California supermarket workers in September ratified a three-year contract with the region’s bigger chains, ending a months-long, contentious negotiation with a deal described as the best the union has received in three decades.

Some 46,000 workers at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores voted to accept the contract. Thousands of UFCW members at the chains authorized a strike in late June.

Source: Press-Enterprise

Amazon’s Grocery-Store Plan Moves Ahead With Los Angeles Leases

Amazon.com Inc. is advancing a plan to open a chain of U.S. grocery stores with early outposts in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, according to people familiar with the matter.

In the Los Angeles area, it has signed more than a dozen leases, the people said. The first few stores are likely to be in the dense suburban locations of Woodland Hills and Studio City, while another grocer is slated for the city of Irvine, in nearby Orange County, a person familiar with the matter said. These stores could open as early as the end of the year.

Amazon is planning to operate dozens of grocery stores in cities across the country, part of the online giant’s increasing focus on a bricks-and-mortar presence to find more ways to reach consumers.

Many of the proposed locations are outside urban cores and cater to middle-income consumers. Apart from prepared foods, they will stock mainstream groceries such as soda and Oreos, people familiar with the matter said.

The company now has 16 Amazon Go stores, where customers can grab ready-to-eat food and grocery purchases checkout-free. It also has four Amazon 4-star stores, which stock products rated 4-stars and above on the Amazon site, and 18 Amazon Books stores.

Revenue from these bricks-and-mortar businesses is small but edging up. In the second quarter, net sales from Amazon’s physical stores rose 1% to $4.3 billion from a year earlier, compared with 16% growth recorded in its online stores, according to Amazon’s earnings statement. Sales in its physical stores include items that customers select in the store, but exclude purchases made online and picked up at a store.

One of Amazon’s first grocery locations will be on N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard, at a strip center in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, the people said.

Local building and safety departments recently granted contractors hired by Amazon permits to change the facade, start electrical work on light fixtures and fire sprinklers, and to install an espresso machine and kitchen equipment at the property there. Filings show that there will be a substantial kitchen, indicating that the store will offer prepared foods.

The roughly 35,000 square-foot store was previously occupied by Toys “R” Us, and its neighbors are Citibank, Office Depot and Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. There is a Costco wholesale market half a mile away.

Paragon Commercial Group, the owner of the strip center, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Amazon doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, said an Amazon spokeswoman.

Amazon is also looking at grocery spaces in the New York metropolitan area, New Jersey and Connecticut. Many of these locations are in strip centers and open-air shopping centers and would occupy about 20,000 to 40,000 square feet, the people said.

In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon’s new grocery chain isn’t intended to compete directly with the company’s upscale Whole Foods Market chain, which doesn’t sell products with artificial flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, among other quality standards.

The Journal was unable to determine what the new stores would be called or whether they will use a similar cashierless technology used by its chain of convenience stores, Amazon Go.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tipping Point for Save Mart

The Save Mart Cos. is slated to open a new flagship store in Modesto, Calif., on Oct 2. It will feature made-to-order items throughout its fresh departments, as well as Save Mart’s new fast-casual restaurant—The Tipping Point—within the store.

Culinary-driven offerings are a mainstay of the “Valley Fresh” section of the new Save Mart, officials said. The section features a produce cutting specialist on staff; made-to-order smoothies; custom fruit bowls; ceviche, olive and pasta bars; and custom-made guacamole and salsa, Store Director Jerald Smith told The Modesto Bee.

“We’re going to make your life simpler,” he said in the on-camera interview. “You’re going to be able to walk up, fill a tray up, fill a bowl up. You pay by the pound—easy in/out.”

Fresh produce is another focal point for the store, which will offer a large variety of local and organic items. The flagship location will also feature a nut roasting and grinding area, where shoppers can get fresh-prepared nut butters.

The service-oriented meat department includes a smoker and a grill, where butchers will prepare customers’ meat orders while they shop.

With both indoor and outdoor garden seating, The Tipping Point restaurant will specialize in tri-tip barbecue served five different ways: as wet or dry sandwich, torta, taco or salad. Side dishes include street corn and churros.

In addition to its signature whole and plated tri-tip, The Tipping Point will have a wide selection of local beer and wine on tap. Local beer and wine selections will change seasonally and be announced to followers on the store’s Facebook page.

“We have a strong identification with how good food brings people together, and tri-tip is a staple in the Central Valley,” Nicole Pesco, CEO for Save Mart, said in a release. “The Tipping Point gives the community a new gathering spot to enjoy this amazing food in a comfortable atmosphere—and you won’t have to clean the grill at the end of the evening.”

In the coming weeks, The Tipping Point food menu and other signature prepared foods from throughout the new store’s hot bar and service deli will be available for on-demand delivery by DoorDash. Save Mart recently announced its plans to expand its DoorDash service throughout California’s Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and Reno, Nev., in the coming months.

“Our aim is to meet shoppers where they are at—literally. DoorDash delivery offers a quick, convenient meal solution and complements our home delivery services,” said Bobby McDowell, VP of operations for Save Mart, in a statement.

Save Mart operates 83 Save Mart stores throughout California and northern Nevada. The grocery chain is part of The Save Mart Cos., which operates 207 traditional and price impact stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx and MaxxValue Foods.

Source: Winsight Grocery Business

Grocery workers’ union, Fred Meyer and others reach tentative agreement

After two days of bargaining that lasted through the night on Friday, a regional grocery workers’ union and four grocery stores reached a tentative agreement around 9 a.m. Saturday.

The tentative agreement heads off a potential strike at Fred Meyer, one of the stores involved in the negotiations, as well as ends a week-long customer boycott of the store requested by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555.

“We are now asking all of our supporters to cease the boycott and resume their normal shopping habits, including shopping at Fred Meyer,” the union said in a Saturday afternoon press release.

The tentative agreement covers about 18,000 grocery workers at Fred Meyer, QFC, Albertsons and Safeway in Oregon and Southwest Washington. About 600 of those employees work in the Kelso-Longview area.

The details of the agreement are embargoed until union members review and vote on the contract, according to the union news release. Union officials will send out dates, times and locations for the vote over the next few days, the release says.

“Our bargaining team is happy to report that we were successful in addressing all of our concerns,” the union said.

Representatives with the stores could not be reached for comment Saturday.

UFCW 555 and the four stores were involved in nearly 15 months of “unity” contract negotiations. The two sides had argued over wage offers, and the union had demanded the companies solve what it considered a gender pay gap.

The union was particularly upset with Fred Meyer, which union officials accused of using intimidation in response to the union’s decision to cancel its contracts with the store.

UFCW 555 filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this month. The status of the investigation was unavailable Saturday.

The union was poised to strike at Fred Meyer after canceling its contracts with the store and passing a near unanimous strike authorization vote.

Last week the union asked customers to boycott Fred Meyer as the “first economic action taken by the union” in response to the “unfair labor practices” and the company’s refusal to response to union contract proposals, the union said.

“Our boycott against Fred Meyer was highly effective, due to your hard work in building relationships with your communities, who stood strong and proud with us!” the union posted on Facebook Saturday. “The boycott has ended, effective immediately.”

Source: TDN.com

The Online Grocery Report: The market, drivers, key players, and opportunities in a rising segment of e-commerce

Online grocery is growing rapidly from its small base. Its market value has doubled from 2016 to 2018, suggesting that consumers are starting to get more comfortable ordering essentials and certain foods online — a major barrier to adoption.

Meanwhile, one type of product that’s popular in online grocery, consumer packaged goods (CPGs), has seen the majority of its growth come from online. Although consumers may not be entirely comfortable buying items like produce online yet, that will likely come as their familiarity and trust in online grocery grows.

Online Grocery Forecast

Business Insider Intelligence

Grocers are rushing to take advantage of this potential, resulting in a highly competitive market. Both established grocery players and newcomers to the space are expanding their curbside pickup and delivery offerings — the two basic components of online grocery — in an attempt to grab market share.

They’re each employing different strategies to find success: Amazon is leaning on its e-commerce and fulfillment capabilities to offer a variety of online grocery services, for example, while Walmart is using its strong brick-and-mortar footprint to its advantage. Still, others, like Kroger and Aldi, are working with third parties such as Instacart to provide their services.

In the first Online Grocery Report, Business Insider Intelligence looks at a variety of grocers’ curbside pickup and grocery delivery options, analyzing how they compare with competitors’ strategies, how profitable they are for the grocer, and what their future may be. While companies like Instacart exist that offer online grocery services for other grocers, we focus specifically on companies that sell their own products. Finally, we examine different strategies companies can use to optimize the profitability of their online grocery offerings.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Aldi, Amazon, Ford, Instacart, Kroger, Ocado, Postmates, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Online grocery currently comprises a small portion of grocery overall but is on a rapid rise. Adoption is still fairly low, with about 10% of US consumers saying that they regularly shop online for groceries, according to NPD.
  • However, the value of the US online grocery market has grown from $12 billion in 2016 to $26 billion in 2018 and it has plenty of room to grow, given that the size of the overall grocery market was $632 billion in 2018 according to IBISWorld.
  • Both established grocers like Walmart and Kroger and players new to the space like Amazon are rushing to improve their curbside pickup and delivery options and all of them are employing differing strategies suited to their size and strengths.
  • Regardless of grocers’ individual strategies, they will all need to find a way to run their online grocery offerings in a profitable way and to address consumers’ barriers to adoption.

Source: Business Insider