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5 things: Food variety should come with speed

Here's 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Uber variety: Speed might not necessarily be the biggest driver for delivery, according to Susan Anderson, Uber’s global head of grocery and retail. In an interview with Fortune magazine. Anderson said that with so many rapid-delivery services entering the market, wait times are dropping, but consumers are largely interested in greater variety. She said rapid-delivery services can up their game by increasing the range of products available within 30 minutes to an hour. “[I]t’s going to increasingly matter, and that [is what] people will start pushing the dimensions on,” Anderson told Fortune. The report noted that the food delivery market is growing rapidly, and has doubled in the last two years in the U.K. Anderson’s interview follows the release of new functions that aim to help delivery drivers find products in the stores. –Tim Inklebarger 

Take that, Loblaws…and that and that: You have to spend money to boycott money. Earlier in the year a group on social media called for a shopper boycott of Loblaws stores due to ongoing high prices for groceries while the retailer pulled in record profits. Accommodating the protest has been a rap song and a day to steal from Loblaws, and now comes a large poster plastered on a bus stop shelter in Calgary, and it appears like this was no cheap production. The advertisement looks like the real deal and is a copy of what Loblaws does with its No Name private-label brand. The word “peasants” appears over a yellow background and above a box of chocolate cake. On the box it says “Let them eat cake” and at the bottom of the box the suggested serving wants bakers to “eat the rich.” For those French-speaking enthusiasts, there also is text in french. It’s not the first time a Loblaws hater has chipped in for the cause, either. In February, artist Christopher Lambe created a slew of shirts, buttons, and magnets showing the word “Roblaw$”. A handgun and a shopping basket replaced the Loblaws logo, and the grocer’s tagline of Live Life Well was replaced with Live Life Hungry. Remind me to never open up a grocery chain and charge high prices. —Bill Wilson

This has everything: You never know when you might have that midnight craving for a balut duck egg. An Asian grocery store recently opened up in Columbus, Ohio, and shoppers will not believe what they will find there. Along with fresh balut duck eggs, which is yours for just $1.79 each (hey, if you want to eat exquisite you need to pay the piper), the Asian SuperMarket has live tilapia and catfish, spiced vinegar, fresh Lychee fruit (for that Lychee fruit salad, of course), green papaya, yam leaves, and a variety of other hard-to-find groceries. There is also an entire wall devoted to herbs and a meat department that features tendon, stomach, chicken feet, beef backbone, and whole pork heads (because why would you want to be cheated?). Two sit-down restaurants are also serving up asian cuisine on the property, and the store also holds cooking demonstrations and free tastings. As we pointed out in this column last week, the asian supermarket craze is alive and well…and very out of the ordinary. —BW

Return the baskets: Shopping baskets can be used for so many things, like, um, carrying groceries and, well, holding other things. Customers just have to have them, and some will risk a rap sheet. In fact, handheld shopping baskets are such a hot item some Colorado grocery stores have given up when it comes to offering the hauling assistant. “Everybody kept walking off with them,” said one grocery employee on social media. “Some people take them, some use them for a house,” said another. Hold it. A house? For a mouse, or for material to make a house? Some are blaming Colorado’s recent ban of single-use plastic bags for the theft ring. Shoppers allegedly take the baskets when they forget their reusable bags. Others say it all started happening during the COVID-19 pandemic, because why not put it on the scapegoat of the century? Fear not, Colorado grocery shoppers, King Soopers said they will continue to offer the hand basket for those carrying needs, and simply refuses to allow individual locations not to have plenty on hand for those in need. OK, I’ve written this entire piece and I’m still struggling for other needs filled by shopping baskets. A place to park your laptop if you prefer standing while working at home? A cage for your pet rabbit? There is a reason why I am not an engineer. —BW

A touchdown for Gopuff: Speaking of growing competition in the grocery delivery space, Gopuff made a big announcement this month through a new partnership with seven-time World Champion quarterback Tom Brady. The Gopuff investor aims to bring some major brand awareness for the company. “Since my first time using Gopuff, I’ve been amazed by how fast and seamless the deliveries are, offering so many different options right at your fingertips,” said Brady in a press release. “I’m excited to be working with the Gopuff team to continue to drive innovation and help create an even better experience for their customers.” The new sponsorship will take the form of “unique products available exclusively to Gopuff customers,” the company said. Brady will curate a new health and wellness category on the app, and Gopuff will launch a “Brady Bag” collection, among other promotions. –TI



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