Aldi Really Thinks It Can Deliver Groceries In 30 Minutes

Grocery delivery services have taken off in the last several years. For instance, Walmart now offers drone delivery, while Amazon has launched a key-in service that allows delivery drivers to safely leave groceries and other online purchases in customers' garages. If that wasn't enough, Publix boasts 15-minute delivery, which sounds pretty unbelievable.

Following the trend of getting customers their orders more quickly and efficiently, Aldi has announced that it, too, will offer expedited delivery. According to a press release, The Aldi Express feature on Instacart will let shoppers order and receive groceries in as little as half an hour. 

In theory, this means no more scrambling to make other dinner plans if you've forgotten an ingredient. It also unlocks the potential to have a pint of ice cream delivered to your house within minutes of a breakup. But in reality, we're not convinced. After all, how many people can get in and out of the grocery store and drive home within 30 minutes?

Can Aldi actually keep up with its promise of 30-minute delivery?

As you might expect, delivering groceries within 30 minutes of placing an order is no small feat. First, the concept only works in high-density areas where stores or warehouses are already situated near homes. In rural areas, where the closest grocery store might be 30 minutes away — if not further — hitting that timestamp probably isn't going to happen. Plus, that requires a delivery driver to be somewhere within the area in the first place.

Second, issuing a 30-minute delivery goal is dangerous. As Quartz pointed out, Domino's had to nix a similar pledge in the 1990s due to the potential for "reckless driving." Delivery drivers on bikes in highly populated areas are just as susceptible to traffic accidents, if not more.

Finally, having Aldi groceries delivered via Instacart in 30 minutes or less requires customers to pay an additional fee. For non-members, delivery starts at $3.99 for orders of $35 and over, and that's to have your groceries delivered the same day. To have them delivered in 30 minutes, shoppers are charged an additional fee. Sure, $2 may not seem too steep, but extra fees can add up fast.