Kroger begins testing home grocery delivery with drones

Kroger is testing drone delivery technology it says is smart enough to soon deliver barbeque sauce not only to your doorstep but your neighborhood cookout in as little as 15 minutes.

Testing will begin this week near its Kroger Marketplace store in Centerville, between Cincinnati and Dayton. The flights will be managed by licensed pilots with Kroger's partner, Drone Express.

Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin later this spring, and a second pilot is scheduled to launch this summer at a store in California, where Kroger operates its Ralphs subsidiary.

The testing comes after Kroger's e-commerce sales hit $10 billion last year and the company begins ramping up its home-delivery service aimed at doubling that figure by the end of 2023.

"We’re excited to test drone delivery and gain insights that will inform expansion plans," said Kroger’s Jody Kalmbach, group vice president of product experience, in a statement. “The pilot reinforces the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern and efficient last-mile solutions."

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