Amazon launches food delivery partnership to take on Uber, DoorDash

If you ever find yourself reminiscing about the days of old, or perhaps even fantasizing about a simpler time, whereby you may have been an 18th century poet or a peasant tilling the farmlands of your feudal lord, pause a moment to consider the consequences. 

Sure, it might sound romantic to write sonnets and stanzas for your beloved in a grassy Provence meadow. It might even sound more appealing to be a medieval peasant — those enforced frequent holidays for merriment and festivities might indeed be fun. 

But before you go searching for a time machine, consider what you’d be giving up. 

Top of the list might be modern medicine, which has improved the lifespan and wellbeing of billions of people worldwide. 

There’s also industrial agriculture, which for all its ills has helped to bolster and feed a larger global population. 

Everything from modern machinery to massive malls has helped to improve our lives and make things more convenient. And that’s before you even consider the advent of Amazon  (AMZN) . 

Free and fast delivery for just about anything you could wish for — from a Peloton bike to your prescription medications — is available on the retail site. Books, groceries, party supplies, pet supplements, premium beauty, and even high fashion can be at your door with a simple push of that gold “Buy now with 1-click” button. 

Amazon makes food more convenient

And for the more than 200 million Amazon Prime members, who pay about $130 per year for free and fast shipping and returns, savings at Whole Foods, and a litany of other perks, it’s easy to justify that recurring cost. 

That’s particularly so when Amazon is working tirelessly each day to afford customers even more for their loyalty. 

It’s been experimenting with new store concepts, such as Whole Foods Market Shop, for those who like smaller grocery stores. It also recently unveiled a new tier of convenience that gives customers fast grocery delivery for about $10 a month. 

And Amazon continues to work on its Fresh stores, which are pared down convenience and grocery outlets that it hopes will soon become more profitable and more widely adopted. 

“We’ve worked very hard on the profitability trajectory over the last 18 months and like the way [that] has taken shape,” Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy said during the Q1 earnings call this spring. “You have to have a perishables business and a mass physical presence. And that’s what we’ve been working on with Amazon Fresh.”

“It’s a very valuable offering for our Prime members, and it’s off to a great start. So, in my opinion, we have lots of ways that we can continue to help customers satisfy their grocery needs,” Jassy said.

Amazon takes a big step into food delivery

But you can come by food in places other than at the grocery store. Sometimes, you don’t want to think about cooking and want a hot pizza delivered to your door instead. 

And that’s where food-delivery services, like Uber Eats  (UBER)  and DoorDash  (DASH) , come in. While they’ve been making forays into grocery delivery, too, the bulk of their profit comes from working with local restaurants and vendors to fulfill near-immediate orders of anything from sushi to sandwiches. 

And Amazon wants in. 

It said on Thursday that it would partner with Grubhub, which is owned by the Dutch multinational Just Eat Takeaway, to offer Prime members free access to Grubhub+, the premium tier of the app’s food delivery service. 

This opportunity now gives customers access to thousands of restaurants, plus: 

  • $120 savings: the annual cost of a Grubhub+ subscription 
  • $0 delivery fees on eligible orders of $12 or more
  • Lower service fees
  • 5% credit back on pickup orders
  • Other exclusive offers
  • $5 off on orders over $25 now through June 2 with code “PRIME5.”

To access the new perk, Prime members can navigate to amazon.com/grubhub. A Grubhub account or membership is not required. 

Amazon also says ordering is identical to the ordering workflow on Grubhub’s app, and prices will be the same. It also claims that Amazon Prime members save an average of $300 a year with the Grubhub+ offer.

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