- United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has partnered with DoorDash to allow independent food retailers to use the e-commerce company's platform to offer online grocery delivery services, according to a press release on Thursday.
- Under the arrangement, shoppers will be able to place orders through DoorDash's marketplace app and website without needing to select a time slot or satisfy a minimum order requirement.
- The agreement with UNFI accelerates DoorDash's efforts to bolster its presence in the online grocery delivery space.
UNFI describes its tie-up with DoorDash as a way to enable independent grocers to make their online services more convenient for shoppers while expanding their delivery range to shoppers in areas they might otherwise have been unable to reach. The goal is to help grocers build customer loyalty while encouraging consumers to buy more items, UNFI said in the press release.
The arrangement also underscores DoorDash's growing efforts to expand beyond its core restaurant delivery business into providing e-commerce services to grocers — an area where Instacart and Shipt have spent years establishing dominance but now face growing competition.
"Our relationship with DoorDash will make it easier for independent retailers to offer online grocery ordering and delivery. We know demand for this functionality continues to be very strong, and to remain competitive retailers need solutions that offer simple installation and avoid extra labor costs," Matt Whitney, UNFI’s chief strategy and innovation officer, said in a statement.
DoorDash's new alliance with UNFI — one of the nation's largest grocery distributors and a key supplier to smaller food retailers — follows deals the delivery company has struck directly with retailers to provide delivery services.
On Thursday, Cardenas Markets announced it will offer on-demand delivery through DoorDash from all 59 of its West Coast stores. In April, DoorDash said it would provide one-hour delivery capabilities to e-grocer Farmstead, and in March, Schnuck Markets announced a deal to use DoorDash to offer delivery of certain prepared foods from select stores.
Last month, DoorDash announced its entry into on-demand alcohol delivery and pickup in 20 states and Washington, D.C., giving it a foothold in a burgeoning e-commerce sector where companies like Gopuff are heavily invested. DoorDash also said recently it is working with Albertsons to allow shoppers to pair restaurant meals with supermarket orders.
DoorDash has also started leveraging its platform to help CPG brands target ads at grocery shoppers.