- DoorDash unveiled earlier this week the first cohort of brands taking part in its Accelerator for Local Goods, which the online ordering and delivery company announced in March.
- Aimed at boosting local CPGs owned by “entrepreneurs who are women, transgender, immigrants, or people of color,” the accelerator kicked off its first six-week program with more than 40 businesses from the metropolitan areas of Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C.
- The accelerator comes at a time when the grocery industry is devoting more resources to supporting local and diverse suppliers.
The entrepreneurs in DoorDash's first cohort will receive resources and education through live and self-guided courses and, at the end of the six-week program, will have the opportunity to sell their goods via DashMart, DoorDash’s virtual convenience store brand.
Each of the participants will also get a $5,000 grant to support their business needs, access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash.
Brands in the cohort include Hoppy Planet Foods, Chicago French Press and Call Me Caramel.
“This class of innovators represents a wide range of identities, with 77% of participants identifying as female, 40% of participants identifying as Black or African American, 7% Hispanic or Latino, and 21% Asian or Pacific Islander,” the announcement noted.
DoorDash continued: “Immigrant-owned businesses make up 20% of the participants and the top product categories include sweet snacks, grocery products, non-alcoholic beverages, and salty snacks."
Supplier diversity has taken on increasing importance within the grocery industry. As supply chain challenges from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine continue, grocers and food companies are facing added pressures to find new brands to fill empty store and digital shelves.
Whole Foods Market, for example, recently launched a local and emerging brands incubator. Under the program, the Amazon-owned grocer is assembling a cohort of participants whose products are not yet sold in chain’s stores and later this year, plans to roll out a separate cohort focused on helping existing suppliers expand.
Earlier this year, several companies, including Albertsons, Sam’s Club and Peapod Digital Labs, announced virtual summits to boost sourcing efforts with diverse-owned businesses.
In the online landscape, delivery companies like instant-needs firms Jokr and Gorillas are adding local brands to help differentiate assortments. For DoorDash, its Accelerator for Local Goods provides a way to help differentiate the assortment for its growing DashMart delivery service. The company noted that DashMart supports more than 400 local and regional producers across the U.S.
“For many participating entrepreneurs, this will mark the first time their products have been distributed outside of their own websites,” DoorDash said in the announcement.