Why These Food Tech Companies Failed

Why These Food Tech Companies Failed

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Five years ago, it seemed like every entrepreneur wanted a piece of the food tech pie. Once PostMates launched in 2011 and GrubHub and Seamless merged in 2013, thousands of food-focused technology companies were on the lookout for funding.

The future looked bright as many of these companies raised millions. Fast forward to 2016, several of these well-funded startups have been forced to throw in the towel.

But, why did these companies fail in the first place? Especially when many of which seemed to be on track to succeed?

SpoonRocket 

This on-demand pre-made meal delivery startup announced in mid-march that it was closing up shop. Although the company had raised $13.5 million, it wasn’t enough to fund the costs to continue operating. 

So, why couldn’t SpoonRocket stay afloat?

The Fierce Competition 

By 2016, SpoonRocket was one of the many on-demand food delivery services on the market. DoorDash, PostMates, Caviar, GrubHub and even Amazon were rapidly spreading to different cities. 

Investors interested in the third-party delivery sector had more options to choose from.

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Instacart Brings On-Demand Groceries to Miami

Credit: Instacart

Credit: Instacart

Though Miami is increasingly becoming more of a hot spot for tech and innovation, the Magic City has been lacking — in the past, at least — in adopting on-demand services. Take a look at how long it took Uber to even be somewhat accepted by city officials, for example.

Luckily, things are looking up. And just this week, Instacart, the popular on-demand delivery service, has jumped into the Miami market, its 16th city to date. Stores in Miami that have partnered with the app include Whole Foods, Costco, Winn-Dixie, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Petco. For those not familiar with the service, Instacart connects customers with personal shoppers, kind of like their own concierge service, to deliver grocery orders to the customer in an hour or less.

We all know a trip to the grocery store before hitting the beach is essential, but imagine being able to nix this step to find a parking space earlier, and get your order delivered to the beach? Or not have to go out in those torrential summer downpours when there’s nothing in the fridge? Also, with Publix not being a current partner, will customer behavior habits of wanting things on-demand drive consumers to Winn-Dixie more? Will Miami locals forgo their Publix subs for convenience? Probably not. But it’s an option.

On its launch day, Instacart created marketing buzz by delivering orders to customers by chartered boat for one day only. Boaters were able to request grocery deliveries wherever they were on the water and have their orders delivered in an hour!

For those in Miami, Instacart covers most neighborhoods — from the Beach to Wynwood and from the Gables/Grove areas to Little Haiti.

For more information, check out Instacart’s website here.