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Death to the supermarket: 8 startups changing how we buy groceries

by Cecil Kleine

In the 1930’s there was no such thing as a supermarket. Back in those days the grocery market was dominated by ‘corner stores’ – specialized establishments that saw the rise of the supers, but failed to compete on their level.At the time, it was convenience and pricing that made the difference. Offering both with a much broader selection, supermarkets won and corner stores faded away. The supremacy of the supermarket has remained relatively unchallenged… until now.

Today, these same aspects are encouraging entrepreneurs to disrupt this $600 billion market and threaten the supermarkets’ dominance. We’ve seen quite a few different approaches, ranging from luxury services to simple delivery solutions. Look out for the following startups – they might just be the next big thing in groceries.


Peppertap is a hyperlocal grocery delivery app based in Gurgaon, India that allows users to order groceries from local supermarkets. It promises delivery in under two hours.

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Instacart is a San Francisco-based service, but is active in many cities across the United States. Customers can order through an app and the company promises grocery delivery in under an hour.

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Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a subscription service that makes weekly deliveries of all the food you need to make its recipes. The recipes on the platform are interactive and include instructions, videos and technique tips.

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Hello Fresh

A newly admitted member of Europe’s Unicorn Club, HelloFresh delivers recipe-kits to subscribers doors for three meals a week. The company promises that all its meals are verified as healthy and balanced by in-house dietitians.

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Din is another delivery service that brings users the ingredients they need for recipes, but what sets the service apart is that Din also does the prepping, so you only need to cook and assemble your meal. Essentially, Din allows you to be head chef in your own kitchen.

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PlateJoy’s approach to food delivery offers a personalized, health-focused menu from a variety of diet-plans. It aims to help subscribers create a healthy eating plan and provide the ingredients and recipes they need to stick to it.

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Sweden-based Gastrofy is also focused on delivering the supplies needed to stick to a healthy diet. However, it also allows subscribers to follow their favorite chefs to gain inspiration for their own cooking.

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Food Assembly

Food Assembly (La Ruche qui dit Oui) aims to empower customers to support their local economy by sourcing local goods. Members can search and order locally produced foods and attend “assemblies” where producers and customers gather to exchange orders.

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Hungry for more foody startups? Keep an eye on what’s trending on Index!

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