The service will allow for “bundled product offerings ideal for meeting customer needs within the current weight limits for drone delivery," about five pounds or less than 2.5 kilos, the companies said in a statement.
They added that drone delivery is particularly useful for quick-supply situations, such as picnics, park and beach outings, and backyard cookouts.
The Cincinnati grocery chain will offer within the pilot program:
- A baby-care bundle with wipes and formula
- A child-wellness bundle with over-the-counter medications and fluids
- A S'mores bundle with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.
Customers will be able to access Kroger.com/DroneDelivery to place orders and have eligible orders delivered within as little as 15 minutes, the companies said.
The venture will begin testing grocery drop-off this week near the Kroger Marketplace in Centerville, Ohio, the companies said.
“Kroger's new drone delivery pilot is part of the evolution of our rapidly growing and innovative e-commerce business -- which includes pickup, delivery, and ship and reached more than $10 billion in sales in 2020,” Kroger's group vice president of product experience, Jody Kalmbach, said in a statement.
“The pilot reinforces the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern, cost-effective, and efficient last-mile solutions,” she added.
Drone Express is owned by the Florham Park, N.J., company, Telegrid Technologies.
Telegrid's website describes the company as a "woman-owned small business founded in 1984 with a focus on development and production of unique state-of-the-art communications and networking equipment and systems for U.S. military and government agencies."
At last check Kroger shares were trading 2.7% higher at $37.48.