Australians will be able to buy supermarket roast chickens on UberEats in the coming weeks after Coles inked a deal with the meal delivery platform to trial a ready-to-eat meal offer.
In a move that will further ratchet up competition for local businesses on the popular meal-delivery platform, the supermarket will trial a small range of products geared towards convenience.
While UberEats and competitor Foodora have traditionally offered fast-food or fast-casual dining options the partnership with Coles represents an expansion into a new type of product.
It signals the growing influence of meal delivery platforms on how Australians eat and also the desire of major supermarkets to cash in on demand for convenient options at a price that undercuts restaurants.
UberEats calls it the “next evolution” of its platform, kicking off today from Coles Pagewood in Sydney with meals delivered in less than 30-minutes, on average.
Other than chooks customers can get pizzas, pies, deli salads, bakery items and frozen desserts. UberEats said it is working to expand the menu in the coming weeks.
Prices on the supermarket’s UberEats store on Tuesday afternoon were higher than typical supermarket prices, with a whole roast chicken listed at $11.00, compared to $9 in store.
Ready to heat meals were listed between $9.50 and $8.50 while grab-and-go sandwiches were $5.50.
Competition has been heating up on meal delivery platforms for a while with the addition of fast-food giants like McDonald’s to the industry last year.
But the arrival of Coles signals a step-change in Uber’s attitude towards the sector, particularly as it has not yet rolled-out its Uber Rush product Down Under.
Retail expert and QUT associate professor Gary Mortimer says both Coles and Woolworths are focusing on conquering the last mile after recognising convenience as a key battleground.
“This is about Coles realising that shoppers are changing the way they engage in food and groceries, it’s no longer a weekly shop, it’s a grab something on the way home or grab something for lunch,” he tells SmartCompany.
It’s not the first time Coles has toe-dipped into the sharing economy. The supermarket has been working with Airtasker on grocery delivery since last year.
Meanwhile, Woolworths appears to be taking an in-house approach to fast-food delivery with its Woolworths Express delivery service, which has a two-hour time window for up to 30 items.
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