The Canadian Grocery Delivery Race is On: Find Out Who’s in the Lead

Canadian grocery delivery began in earnest in 2018, with more retailers offering on-demand services for online shoppers.

The pick-up was due in part to necessity. As large online brands, like Amazon, offer direct-to-door delivery, other retailers are feeling the push to do the same.

Here’s where the major Canadian grocers stand currently:

1. Sobeys

Delivery is currently offered in urban Toronto and Ottawa, according to Sobeys’ website.

In January of 2018, Sobeys partnered with Ocado Group <link to Ocado blog>, an online grocery retailer based in the U.K.

Sobeys is committed to make use of Ocado’s website functionality and mobile grocery ordering apps. Ocado will build an automated ecommerce delivery warehouse.

Sobeys’ FreshCo originally began offering grocery delivery back in 2015 through Inabuggy. Delivery arrives in as little as one hour. Inabuggy currently offers delivery in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver and is “rapidly expanding,” according to its website.

2. Walmart

Offers in-store pickup for orders more than $50. Partnered with Penguin Pick-Up in 2017 to offer pick up at select locations.

In September of 2018, Walmart Canada announced a partnership with Instacart to offer one-hour grocery delivery in select regions across the GTA. If customers respond well, they will expand.

3. Loblaw

Like Walmart, Loblaw has partnered with Instacart to offer home delivery in Toronto and Vancouver.They are planning to expand pick-up and delivery services across the country this year.

Loblaw also has a popular click-and-collect program where shoppers can pick up groceries at many Loblaw stores, GO Train commuter stations in the Toronto area, and select Shoppers Drug Mart locations.

4. Costco

Costco Canada announced two-day grocery delivery in 2018 at select locations across southern Ontario. They eventually plan to expand to the rest of Ontario and Quebec.

5. Metro

Metro began offering online grocery services to the Quebec metropolis in 2016, but they have significantly expanded the program since then.

In June of 2018, Metro announced same-day pick-up and grocery delivery in Quebec. It is planning to launch the service in Ontario within the next year.

6. Longo’s

Longo’s has seen success with its Grocery Gateway program, offering delivery to both residences and businesses in Toronto and the GTA, including Oshawa, Stouffville, King, Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, and as far west of Toronto as Kitchener/Waterloo, Guelph, and Hamilton.

In 2017, the Toronto facility expanded from 47,000 to 150,000 sq. ft., enabling it to double its online inventory to more than 18,000 items and grow product lines such as frozen and produce. It also acquired, and began testing click-and-collect service with Penguin Pick-Up at locations in Toronto and Oakville.

7. Save-On-Foods

In 2017, Save-On-Foods expanded its online pick-up and delivery service to several B.C. cities. More than 60 stores across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba offer click and collect.

What’s Next for Canadian Grocers

While most major Canadian grocers have incorporated grocery delivery services into their retailers, it is still limited. Only several large cities are on the delivery list. The race is still on to see who will get to less populated regions first.

There is also the question of which brand will attract the most Canadian customers.

Unlike Americans, 81% of Canadians surveyed in a 2017 study from PwC said they preferred to grocery shop at the physical store. In comparison, the global average is about 70%.

Online grocery delivery has remained a fairly small part of the Canadian market, only claiming about 2%. Nielsen projects that online delivery will grow to about 5.3% of all sales for fast-moving consumer goods.

In 2019, will we see grocery delivery take off across the nation? Whether it does or not, Marketsupport Canada can help grocers stay competitive. We make sure that your shelves are stocked, eCommerce sites are set up for success, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about how we operate. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit

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