“Kroger’s new pilot for the delivery of drones is part of the development of our fast growing and innovative e-commerce business, which includes collection, delivery and shipping, and has more than achieved $ 10 billion in sales in 2020, ”said Kroger Jody Kalmbach, Group Vice President for Product Experience. “The pilot project underlines the importance of flexibility and immediacy for customers based on modern, cost-effective and efficient last-mile solutions. We look forward to testing the delivery of drones and gaining insights that will influence both expansion plans and future customer solutions. “
How the pilot works for drone food delivery
The Drone Express delivery system gives customers the ability to have their parcel delivered wherever they are – and on their smartphone. Customers can order a picnic that will be delivered to a park, for example: or pavement to a skate park.
Kroger develops bundled product offerings ideally suited to meeting customer needs within the current weight limits for supplying drones, which are approximately five pounds. To illustrate this, Kroger offers a baby care package with wipes and formulas, a children’s wellness package with over-the-counter medicines and liquids, and a S’mores package with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. With Kroger.com/DroneDelivery, customers can place orders and have eligible orders delivered in just 15 minutes.
“Autonomous drones have unlimited potential for improving everyday life, and our technology enables Kroger customers to make safe and environmentally friendly deliveries,” he said Beth Flippo, Chief Technology Officer, TELEGRID. “The options for customers are endless – we can give Kroger customers the option of sending chicken soup to a sick friend or quick delivery of olive oil if they run out of dinner while cooking.”
Licensed Drone Express pilots manage the process from an on-site trailer “with additional off-site surveillance,” which could mean that the flights currently require visual observers. Deliveries to customers are slated to begin this spring, and a second pilot is slated to start at a Ralphs store in this summer California.
“The start of the pilot in Centerville is the culmination of months of careful research and development by Kroger and Drone Express to better serve and meet our customers’ needs, ”he said Ethan Grob, Krogers Director of Last Mile Strategy and Product. “We look forward to moving from test flights to customer deliveries this spring and giving our customers another chance to experience Kroger.”
Recent research shows that communities with the opportunity to experience firsthand drone delivery have been very positive about drone delivery and commercial drone technology. At Centerville, the community is ready to push the boundaries of delivery. “Kroger and Drone Express made a good choice in piloting this program Centerville – a community with a robust corporate network focused on advancement and stability near the birthplace of aviation, ”he said Centerville mayor Brooks Compton. “Families here have the power to transform food delivery across the nation and around the world. We look forward to our first order. “