Picnic becoming latest stakeholder in online grocery segment

Hamburg services to start in 2023 – rise of 14 per cent predicted in segment
31 August 2022
Picnic Online Supermarkt, Lieferung, Picnic 8.8.

The good old milkman has proven inspirational for the online supermarket Picnic ...except he did not have an app and only delivered a pre-fixed number of milk bottles. Nowadays, customers place an order per app and like the milkman, Picnic delivers along a fixed route at a set time. "That allows us to deliver to seven to eight customers per hour." Unlike rivals such as Gorillas, Flink, Getir or Bringoo, Picnic does not work on the "taxi principle" i.e., delivering to a specific address because "that only yields two to three customers," said Frederic Knaudt, joint founder of Picnic Germany. Picnic instead offers free deliveries. "We are the only free provider with discount prices. We appeal to the general population, who also watch the prices," he stressed. Knaudt gained experience in the e-food sector at Rocket Internet and by founding a cooking box start-up.

Edeka involved from the start

"Given rising inflation, customers are very price-conscious at the moment and opting for low-priced private labels. We cater to that demand using Edeka's own brand Gut und Günstig." The grocery group has been on board from the start and has a 20 per cent stake in the start-up, which was founded in the Netherlands in 2015. Picnic launched on the German market from Neuss in 2018 and now does business in over 60 cities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Business in Hamburg will follow early next year and the company is now setting up a fulfillment centre with 10,000 items in Wilhelmsburg. Crucially, the warehouse will only stock pre-ordered goods. "The customer can order until 10 p.m. Based on their specifications, bread rolls are delivered and fruit, vegetables and meat are ordered. That's how we avoid surplus." Conventional supermarkets, on the other hand, throw out a lot of unsold food. Picnic's sustainable concept includes e-transporters developed epecially for the online supermarket. Knaudt noted: "We have the largest e-delivery fleet in Europe with over 2,000 vehicles."  

Picnic's online supermarket
© Picnic
Filling out orders in online supermarket
Frederic Knaudt, Manager of Picnic Germany
© Picnic
Frederic Knaudt, Mitgründer von Picnic Deutschland

Growing market segment

The online grocery segment is a growing market, said Knaudt, adding: "The pandemic gave online retail a boost, but in fact it was only a small jump. The e-food market is expected to grow from just over 3 per cent at present to between 12 and 17 per cent by 2030, a GfK study has predicted." Given this optimistic forecast, the market offers room for all kinds of food delivery services. Now, Picnic is targeting mostly families in the suburbs. "We are currently examining locations for our City Hubs. The goods will be collected in Wilhelmsburg, temporarily stored in the City Hubs and delivered aboard our e-transporters all over the north - as far as Lübeck, Neumünster and Kiel."