Will Baton Rouge see 15-minute grocery delivery in the near future?

Grocery delivery was made popular by the pandemic, but customers now want to get their groceries even faster, and delivery in as little as 15 minutes could be coming to Baton Rouge.

It’s happening in larger markets and should find its way to Baton Rouge soon, says Brent Struthers, a commercial agent at Beau Box Real Estate. Places like GoPuff, which recently opened in Baton Rouge, allow customers to get everything from a Coke to Windex in minutes, and could signal the start of a quicker delivery market in the area.

However, for now, Baton Rouge is lagging a bit. In order to deliver groceries in minutes, stores and delivery companies usually use microwarehouses to store more goods, but Baton Rouge doesn’t have many of those.

“I haven’t seen it yet,” Struthers says, “but it will be coming as we all evolve from this COVID world.”

Many Baton Rouge grocers use third-party delivery services or online programs that haven’t quite stepped into the 15-minute delivery world, like GoPuff or DoorDash.

Matherne’s Market uses a service called FreshApp, assistant manager Brandie Varnado says, and the turnaround time is usually about seven hours.

Sprouts uses Instacart, assistant store manager Jay Francis says, which usually delivers products in about an hour.

But the trend is gaining speed nationally. Customers used to be impressed by two-day or next-day shipping, Axios reports, but 15-minute delivery is now in demand. The trend could have effects across the economy, as microwarehouses take up city real estate and delivery relies on low-paid essential workers.

This story originally appeared in a Dec. 20 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.