- Publix is now delivering its famous pub subs to customers’ doors through Instacart, according to Orlando Weekly. This is the first time Publix subs have been available for delivery.
- Customers can order the sandwich by choosing a time and date. Same-day delivery is available.
- Sandwiches include Chicken Tender, Italian, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Ultimate, Havana Bold and more.
A major driver of traffic into its stores, Publix's subs are a fan favorite with a cult-like following. Adding delivery of these popular sandwiches is an incremental move, but shows Publix is ready to go head-to-head with key foodservice competitors in Florida.
Grocers have invested heavily in robust foodservice programs over the past few years, and retail foodservice sales increased to more than $34 billion in 2017. Consumers see value in purchasing these freshly made, high-quality meals because they are saving time — a valuable factor for today’s busy shoppers. If a shopper finds a favorite meal at a grocery store, they’ll remain loyal to that grocer.
Publix is adding to the convenience factor of its most popular prepared food with delivery, a move that helps it keep up with the restaurant industry, which poses a notable threat to grocers' prepared food sales as more people look for quick, easy meal solutions. As restaurants target consumers through apps like Uber Eats and Postmates, Publix is utilizing its existing platform with Instacart, making it simple for existing shoppers to place orders.
Meal delivery could be picking up speed in the grocery industry. Last month, Wegmans, also famous for its subs, rolled out its Wegmans Meals 2GO food delivery service to consumers. The service allows shoppers to order products like pizza, wings, subs, salads, sushi and more through its Wegmans Meals 2GO app, which will be fulfilled through DoorDash.
It’s not a coincidence that Publix introduced its sub delivery only weeks after Wegmans. Although the two grocers are not yet in direct competition due to differences in location, Wegmans is inching its way southward into Publix’s territory.
Publix is also facing pressure from other grocers entering its home state of Florida. The retailer dominates much of the market in the state, but as other food retailers offering fresher, more unique products chip away at its consumer base, Publix needs to leverage its strongest offerings to keep hold of its shoppers.