Are Google, Amazon and Target suffering a serious case of FOMO?

By: Robyn Metcalfe

Google has the maps and Amazon has the warehouse distribution system.

How is it that both these companies just announced their entry into the grocery delivery business (Google in Bloomberg and Amazon reported in TechCrunch)? Maybe Google should just lend Amazon their map software. Or Amazon should lease some cold chain warehouses to Google. But both? Within weeks? What’s going on?

Google Express aims to deliver your groceries. 

Google Express aims to deliver your groceries. 

These companies are suffering from a serious case of FOMO. No one wants to miss the opportunity to shape our new food distribution network. Whole Foods, Costco, Walmart, Sysco are probably all staring at their computers trying to find their space in this free-for-all.

Target would have been included in the above list, but they were hot on Google and Amazon's trail. The company just announced they’ll be teaming up with Instacart, rivaling the two other giants.

These are all bright, well-established companies whose experiments in the space are driven by a host of new competitors including Instacart, UberEats and Favor, which are working on the smaller, more regional deliveries. Will the bigger players scoop them up, like Target just did? Listen carefully and watch who else enters the food delivery market. Lots of questions remain unanswered, and in the end, you and I will decide who delivers our food or if we want to pay a little extra to have it delivered at all.

That question of inevitability seems to be quieting by the day. Each time news breaks about a company trying to find a new way to get something so perishable as a gallon of milk or a hot lunch to you faster, the more it seems that our demand for delivery is here to stay, even if there are some bumps to get there.