The online food market is evolving so quickly that, by the time you read this, it probably will be out of date.

Every week, it seems, another food retailer announces that it will begin or expand delivery of online orders or that it will add pickup points for such orders. For example, Kroger in early August launched Kroger Ship, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform that delivers non-perishable grocery items.

The online food market has also seen growing consolidation as newcomers seek capital and established retailers look for ways to increase their online offerings. Some recent examples include:

  • Online meal-kit retailer Chef’d in July abruptly ceased operations and its assets were quickly snapped up by True Food Innovations.
  • Kroger in May spent $200 million to buy meal-kit retailer Home Chef.
  • German meal-kit company HelloFresh SE in March agreed to buy competitor Green Chef.
  • Target Corp. last December paid $550 million to buy delivery service Shipt to bolster Target’s same-day grocery delivery capabilities.

All of this is happening in a sales channel that represents a small part—between 2% and 6%—of the $1 trillion-plus U.S. grocery market.

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