- Instant grocery delivery firm Jokr has started delivering alcoholic beverages to customers in New York City, the company announced Thursday.
- Jokr is promising to bring beer, hard seltzer and cider from a variety of local and national brands, including New York-based Talea, Finback, Folksbier and KCBC, to customers in 15 minutes or less.
- The announcement steps up Jokr's quest to draw customers to its service as it jockeys for attention in the budding market for on-demand delivery of groceries and other goods.
Jokr claims it's the first 15-minute grocery delivery service in New York City to offer alcohol delivery. The addition adds a new twist to the rapidly unfolding — and increasingly competitive — instant delivery scene in the nation's largest city.
The company, which launched in June with a selection of approximately 1,500 items, now offers about 2,500 products, according to the announcement. Jokr is offering alcohol in most of its delivery zones in New York right away, and plans to make the beverages to all customers it reaches by Oct. 31. As with the other products it sells, Jokr said it is not imposing an order minimum or charging a delivery fee for alcohol.
Jokr is up against several other energetic startups as it looks to expand its business bringing products to customers on demand from networks of strategically placed dark stores. Those companies include 1520, which started operations in New York in January and recently launched in Chicago, as well as Fridge No More and Gorillas.
"Our aspiration is very much to deliver all the things you need super rapidly. And as our customers help us understand what else they want, as they type into our search bar, we will go ahead and expand," Zachary Dennett, who heads U.S. operations for Jokr, said in an interview earlier this year.
Alcohol has emerged as a key e-commerce category in recent months. In September, for example, DoorDash said it was bringing beer, wine and spirits to its marketplace in 20 states and Washington, D.C. The company generally delivers those products to customers in about 35 minutes, according to its website.
Uber Eats announced in May that it was rolling out an “everyday essentials” online shop that includes alcohol in partnership with Gopuff.
7-Eleven, meanwhile, said in August that it would work with Minibar Delivery to bring alcohol to customers, initially through about 600 of the convenience store chain's stores in Florida, Texas and Virginia.
The sharp rise in grocery e-commerce since early 2020 appears to be playing a role in the rising interest among retailers in delivering alcohol. Last year, as the pandemic was in full swing, Kantar said it expected that three in 10 people who buy alcohol online for the first time during the pandemic will continue to do so over the longer term.