At this point, San Francisco needs another food delivery app about as much as we need another Super Bowl, but that isn't stopping a new gaggle of startups from entering the fray. As the Chronicle reports, they're coming to market just as market saturation in this realm is pretty much at peak food app, and just as we're seeing the demise of some local players like SpoonRocket, the rumored demise of Kitchit, and the entry of potentially big player UberEats.
Add to that Amazon Prime Now, which as the Business Times reports just launched food delivery in San Francisco today, covering 33 zip codes and promising delivery of restaurant dishes in an hour or less. The service, already available in some markets around the country, falls under the Amazon Prime umbrella and makes some products available to Prime subscribers ($99/year) within a two-hour delivery timeframe using local warehouses and logistics.
Among the startups the Chronicle recently test-drove are UrbanEats, which potentially wants to be confused with UberEats and which offers a service for the truly lazy in which you don't even have to open an app, and they just text you a bunch of lunch/dinner options and you reply with a single letter indicating your choice; and the Paleo/health-conscious prepared meal service Power Supply, which actually only delivers to CrossFit gyms.
Then there are a trio of Blue Apron competitors: Marley Spoon, a company that already did its initial launch in Germany and has some nice branding and recipes; Chef'd, which features meal kits for specific recipes from recipe sites and celebrity chefs like Dominique Crenn and Susan Feniger; and the goofily named Gobble, which is trying to compete by saying all its meals can be made in 10 minutes or less, though that claim might not be so accurate.
Enough already, right?
And sure, grocery shopping can be expensive and somewhat time consuming, but all of this throws the entire farmers' market ethos that the Bay Area helped popularize out the window instead of supporting local chefs and food businesses, you're getting pre-prepped produce and meat shipped to you, increasing the carbon footprint and once again losing touch with where your food comes from. That's not to say we all have time to shop and cook every day, and competition is good, but how many of these services can we possibly need? And the more they compete on price, the lesser the quality or sustainability of the food is likely to be, because we all know that good food costs money.
In related news, and in somewhat of a shock, Postmates appears to be doing a lot better than anyone thought according to some leaked financials that Techcrunch got a hold of, having done $56 million in revenue in Q3 of 2015 though they may be doing so at the expense of restaurants' own slim profit margins.