How Super Duper Uses AI & Cheap Robots To Make Online Grocery Profitable
December 14, 2022
For the most part, there have been very few successful examples of online grocery automation. UK-based Ocado recently announced that its first-party retail business went from 6.6% EBITDA margins in FY’21 to breakeven this year due to inflationary pressures. Instacart has forgone its relationship with automated grocery startup Fabric in favor of manual picking from dark stores. Out of Autostore’s 1,000+ global systems, only a single digit percentage of these deployments are for online grocery. Lastly, prior to its merger with Kroger, Albertsons did not appear to extend its contract with Takeoff Technologies beyond seven automated microfulfillment deployments from the backs of its stores. But a team of former Caja Systems engineers from Israel has heeded these lessons to build a profitable model that relies purely on inexpensive and “dumb” ground floor robotics. The end result is Super Duper, a next-day, vertically integrated online grocer selling 3k SKUs of ambient, chilled, and frozen products at a 16-23% discount to major chains with no delivery fees.