Food Rocket, a Rapid Grocery Delivery Startup, Launches in Chicago

CHICAGO — Food Rocket, a rapid grocery delivery startup, has announced the expansion of its business to Chicago and plans to invest in the opening of a new office there and to launch around 160 darkstores by the end of 2022, covering more than 600,000 households in the areas of West Loop, Gold Coast, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, South Loop, and River North. Chicago is Food Rocket’s second city after San Francisco where the startup successfully debuted in 2021. Food Rocket has a special offer to its first Chicago customers – no delivery fee, no minimum sum of order.

The startup plans to invest more than $15 million in the opening of a new delivery zone and will create more than 2,000 jobs. Food Rocket continues to be one of the few startups offering full-time employment to all of its riders. This ensures workers a guaranteed income as well as benefits.

The decision to expand in Chicago was based on factors such as population density, average annual income, e-commerce post-pandemic growth, and crime rates to provide the most comfortable working environment for the team. California, where Food Rocket launched in 2021, has 60% of customers ordering a second time, and a $30 average bill. 

“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 10-15 minutes of placing an order,” — notes Vitaly Alexandrov, CEO and founder of Food Rocket.

Food Rocket was founded in 2021 by serial entrepreneur Vitaly Alexandrov and became the first on-demand grocery delivery service in California. The service has placed its bets on the fresh grocery category which makes up 60% of all orders, as well as on ready-to-eat meals. With the fastest free delivery, the startup competes with DoorDash, GoPuff, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and Uber Eats. 

Chicago has more than 2.6 million residents and one of the highest population densities per square meter, which is key to the grocery delivery business. 50.7% percent of Chicago residents make purchases online.