- Asian e-grocer Umamicart launched on Monday in the New York metro area and Mid-Atlantic region with next-day delivery, according to a press release emailed to Grocery Dive.
- Founded by Andrea Xu and Will Nichols, Umamicart sells more than 500 ingredients and products, including Asian vegetables, fresh fruits, meat, pantry staples, rice, noodles and other items. “The products we carry at Umamicart are a mix of traditional staples enjoyed across generations, and new, distinctly Asian-American, brands,” Xu, the e-grocer's CEO, wrote on the website.
- Umamicart is the latest offering in the Asian e-grocer space in the U.S., which also includes California-based Weee and Chicago-based Chowbus.
The Asian e-grocer market is hot as Umamicart enters the fold, competing against Weee and Chowbus, which both service the East Coast and each brought in more than $30 million in new funding last year. Umamicart, which isn’t specifically targeted toward Asian Americans, has had 2,000 people sign up prelaunch, as of late February, Xu told Business Insider.
The grocer offers next-day delivery to select zip codes in five states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The company is looking to expand its delivery range to Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia this spring, according to the press release. There’s a $30 order minimum for delivery. Shoppers who spend less than $49 have a shipping fee of $6.99, while orders over $49 are free, according to the e-grocer’s website.
For shoppers looking to create favorite dishes or try new flavors, Umamicart has several kits and product groupings with items that can get added to the cart individually. Kits include DIY Sushi at Home and Mapo tofu. Meanwhile, there are groupings of items called Pantry 101, Hot-pot Essentials, Dumpling Essentials and All Asian American, which features products from Asian American-founded companies.
Already, the e-grocer is eyeing expansion. Umamicart wants to increase its East Asian and South East Asian products and venture into South Asian products, the press release noted. One of its goals, Xu told Gear Patrol, is to make the “so-called Asian” section of supermarkets' ethnic food aisles "completely obsolete."
Before creating Umamicart, its founders hailed from New York-based investment firm FJ Labs, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Xu previously worked for technology holding company 7r Ventures and for Goldman Sachs. Nichols has held operations roles at Instacart and worked on business development, product and marketing at TripAdvisor.
The co-founders bring global professional experience to Umamicart: Xu has worked in Spain, where she was raised by her Chinese immigrant parents, and Hong Kong, while Nichols has worked in Beijing and Singapore.