Uber has announced the first major expansion of its grocery delivery service in the United States. The company is doubling the number of service areas to the north of 400 cities and towns this week. It now serves several major markets through the Uber and Uber Eats apps, including San Francisco, New York City and Washington DC.
The rapid expansion was driven in part by a partnership with Albertsons Companies and its 1,200 grocery stores across the country. Albertsons owns brands such as Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Tom Thumb and Randalls. Uber also offers delivery from regional chains like Southeastern Grocers and New York’s Red Apple Group. Uber Pass and Eats Pass subscribers are free to pay delivery charges for grocery orders over $ 30.
Grocery delivery became a vital part of Uber’s business during the toughest stages of the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of trips people took dropped significantly. The company is also grappling with a driver shortage that has resulted in higher prices for trips. Uber has bought several delivery startups in the past few years to help drive its growth in the sector, such as Cornershop, Postmates and Drizly.
Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Engadget.