- Mercato, the e-commerce platform serving independent grocers and specialty food stores, has launched a new delivery membership program called Mercato Green in over 25 states, according to a press release sent to Grocery Dive.
- The program offers users unlimited, free same-day delivery with a $35 minimum from local grocers through two different plans. The Neighborhood plan covers a three-mile radius and costs $96 a year, while the City plan covers a 10-mile radius and costs $276 a year, according to an email sent to Grocery Dive. The company will also offer a 14-day free, unlimited trial to customers.
- As part of the program, Mercato will plant a tree for each order placed by a Mercato Green member.
Mercato wants to make delivery from local grocery retailers more accessible, founder and CEO Bobby Brannigan said in a statement announcing the new membership. The two membership options are unique compared to other delivery programs, allowing users to pay based on the radius from which they intend to make grocery orders. This setup, combined with the company’s ability to help consumers shop local groceries online, could draw strong interest.
The tree planting promise is another distinctive aspect of the new offering, helping Mercato to connect with environmentally conscious consumers. Roughly 88% of consumers want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly in their daily life, according to 2018 research from Futerra. GlobalData also found that 71.4% of people consider the environmental effects of their choice of food and grocery retailers.
Mercato Green comes a few months after the company closed a $4 million investment round to help it expand to new U.S. markets. Shortly after, DoorDash and Mercato announced plans to offer same-day delivery on grocery orders from Mercato. Delivery memberships are a logical next phase for the company as it looks to keep up with competitors.
Although the new membership program with its dual options and tree planting promise will appeal to Mercato shoppers, Walmart, Amazon, Kroger, Costco, Shipt and Instacart are formidable forces in the online grocery space with delivery memberships of their own. Mercato’s strongest advantage against these major retailers is its focus on niche markets and high-end grocers.