Food Rocket Zooms Into Chicago

Delivery startup also moving its staff to the area
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
a woman smiling for the camera
Chicago north side
Residents on the north side of Chicago now have another source for online grocery orders and deliveries, as Food Rocket comes to town.

Another rapid grocery delivery service is taking off in Chicago. The startup Food Rocket is expanding to the Windy City, intending to open at least 160 dark stores by the end of this year to serve neighborhoods mostly on the north side of the city.

This represents Food Rocket’s first foray into the Midwest after delivery to customers in the San Francisco areas for the past year or so. In addition to rolling out delivery, the company plans to open a new office in Chicago; Food Rocket is currently based in Palo Alto, Calif.

"Even though Chicago is an extremely competitive market, we plan on moving the entire team there. The software and AI we use not only allow us to reduce delivery times, but also to more precisely select an assortment for each consumer. Of course, we also rely on local producers, whose products will be available to Chicagoans within 10 to 15 minutes of placing an order," explained Vitaly Alexandrov, CEO and founder.

To attract new customers, Food Rocket announced that it is offering service with no delivery fee and no minimum sum of order. The startup – one of the only delivery services to offer full-time employment to all of its riders – is also seeking to entice workers to its operation, claiming that it aims to fill more than 2,000 jobs and invest more than $15 million in the new delivery zone.

The company is betting on Chicago’s population density and online buying habits to help it accelerate into this new area. Food Rocket estimates that 60% of its current customers in California order a second time and place an average $30 order.

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