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Albertsons Seeks Online Grocery Edge with New App, Subscription Service

Albertsons FreshPass
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Albertsons Companies is “reintroducing itself” to shoppers with a trio of new digital offerings. The grocery giant — home to 20+ food and drug banners including Safeway, Vons and Acme — has launched a new app, loyalty program and membership-based grocery delivery service, all designed to make grocery shopping “more enjoyable and convenient” (and help the company stand out from the growing crowd of providers in the grocery space).   

“We have been working hard to revolutionize Albertsons Companies’ digital offerings and enhance all aspects of the food experience and journey,” said Chris Rupp, EVP and Chief Customer and Digital Officer of Albertsons Companies in a statement. “Today’s launch exemplifies our commitment to innovation and customer service, meeting shoppers where they want to shop whether that be in store, curbside, or at home.”

Competition in the online grocery space is becoming fierce as consumers appear set to maintain shopping behaviors they adopted during the pandemic. In 2019, 85% of consumers went to stores for their grocery shopping, according to research from ShareThis. That dropped to 46% in 2020, driven by lockdowns and safety concerns. However, even as conditions improved, shoppers haven’t completely returned to their old ways, with just 62% returning to stores so far this year.

Albertsons’ suite of new digital tools and services includes:

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  • For $99 a year or $12.99 a month, the new FreshPass subscription service offers unlimited free delivery on orders of $30 or more, and free 2-hour grocery delivery and Drive Up & Go shopping in select markets. Subscribers also will enjoy rewards that don’t expire and exclusive culinary and wine experiences;
  • A revamped loyalty program, Albertsons for U, available by store banner (i.e. Safeway for U, Jewel-Osco for U) that features personalized deals, rewards and perks. Existing members are automatically enrolled in the free program and new members immediately earn $5 off their next in-store or online purchase of $25 or more. After that, members earn points on nearly every dollar spent, and points can be redeemed on groceries and gas. Among the membership perks are personalized deals, a free item every month and a special birthday treat; and
  • The new Deals & Delivery app, which combines Albertsons Cos.’ two most-used services, allowing customers to shop, save and redeem rewards all in one place whether they’re at home or in-store. Features include a digital wallet, coupon integration, list builders and a pay-from-app feature. Shoppers can download the app by store name across the company’s banners, and the app is integrated with both the Albertsons for U loyalty program and FreshPass.

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