Google Wants To Get Into Fresh Grocery Delivery Game

After years of running its Google Express service — which offers same-day delivery on merchandise and packaged foods from a variety of retailers to customers in a handful of markets around the country — the Internet giant is now reportedly confident enough to try its hand at bringing fresh food and groceries to consumers’ doors.

Google’s approach for this test — which will start in San Francisco and one other city — appears to be in direct competition with services like Instacart that charge a fee for gathering groceries at participating retailers, like Whole Foods and Costco, and delivering them to customers. These stores are already part of the Express service, but have only been making a limited number of products available.

“For a lot of our merchants that have been successful with this, we’re not representing the whole store today,” the general manager of Google Express tells Bloomberg. “It’s in our incentive, as well as the merchant’s incentive, for us to help customers get the full store delivered to them.”

Grocery delivery services like Peapod and FreshDirect often gather their items from warehouses rather than store shelves. Google believes that by focusing on pulling from partner stores’ existing inventory, it can cut out the cost of having to house and track all of its own products.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.