Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD) has launched Food-X Urban Delivery Inc. (Food-X) to give grocery retailers access to its warehousing, home delivery and food preparation platform. It has also partnered with Walmart on a new warehousing facility.
Food-X is based on the same warehousing delivery platform that SPUD customers have been using for over 20 years. SPUD bills it as the most environmentally friendly commercial food delivery service in Canada.
The company also plans to open a new 74,000 sq ft warehouse in Burnaby, BC this summer where retailers can store merchandise to be delivered via Food-X. SPUD has partnered with Walmart, which will be the building’s anchor tenant.
Speaking with Grocery Business, Daryl Porter, vice president of online grocery for Walmart Canada, says the partnership with SPUD is a good example of how the retail landscape is changing.
“You have the world’s largest retailer partnering with a relatively small retailer like SPUD, that is fantastic at delivering organics and its ability to deliver online grocery. And we share a lot of values in terms of being aligned on sustainability, making sure Canadians get great food and reducing waste.”
And the partnership works for Vancouver, densely populated and with limited real estate, as it allows Walmart “to share real estate with SPUD. It’s a good collaboration that gets us into the heart of the city and it makes sense."
When it comes to online grocery initiatives across Canada, Porter says it’s not a “one size fits all and multiple tactics may be deployed at the same time.”
He adds that with Canada having such a vast geography, Walmart treats regions differently because “each one has different population densities and other nuances, so the strategies we deploy are very different, and we’re learning by trying new things and evolving concepts.”
For instance, in the dense downtown area of Toronto, the company has partnered with Penguin Pick-Up for greater convenience for customers living in the area that are not close to a Walmart store.
While grocery delivery models will continue to grow and evolve, Porter says Walmart's 411 stores across the country give the retailer “a strategic advantage” which allows Walmart to provide “physical support to customers who are new to e-commerce and come to our stores. We see this as a strength."