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August 19 2020

If you live on the west coast, you might already be very familiar with Weee! But if you start to see the delivery of Weee! popping up in major east coast hubs such as NYC, now you know why. The Asian e-grocer is growing very fast and expanding its national footprint. It is now the largest online Asian delivery platform with more than 5 million users and offers next day shipping.

Online grocery is a capital-intensive business with thin profit margins, so it’s unsurprising to see many contenders — in both China and the U.S. — operating in the red. Against the odds, Weee! turned profitable earlier this year and also went cash-flow positive.

Since the U.S. began reversing lockdowns and people started to return to supermarkets, some grocery delivery services have seen their revenue growth slow. Weee!, however, is currently growing and is at 15-20% more in sales than its March peak. CEO Larry Liu explained that the sustained boom stems from the service’s product differentiation: Asian specialties that one can’t even find in Chinatowns around the US.

In addition, Weee! tries to streamline every step of its operations, from product procurement, warehouse management, and staff allocation to door-to-door delivery. The result is zero food waste thanks to fast inventory turnover.

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Niche Grocery Delivery:

Peapod is an online supermarket that offers thousands of different products, including prime meats and seafood, natural and organic groceries, fresh produce, locally sourced specialty items and alcoholic beverages, plus meal kits with measured and chopped ingredients. Enter your ZIP code on the Peapod homepage to find out if it delivers in your area.

Imperfect Foods delivers boxes of "ugly" foods to your doorstep. The produce is discounted up to 30 percent compared to grocery store prices. In an intriguing pivot, last year the company diversified into other grocery categories, like dairy, meat, and pantry items. Some of these were still “imperfect” products, like coffee beans that were too small or misshapen almonds, but others were not. Last year the company also launched a pilot program to pick up their delivery boxes for reuse.

Thrive Market is a socially conscious service that delivers over 6,000 organic and non-genetically modified products spanning food, home, and beauty categories. Members get members-only pricing as well as perks like freebies and special deals. Shipping is available to street addresses in the contiguous U.S., and your first order over $25 ships free.

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