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The Chicago Tribune reports on how Ahold Delhaize-owned Peapod, having survived since 1989 in an e-grocery segment that has seen peaks, valleys and more than a few flameouts, now "is girding for another wave of energized rivals seeking a slice of a market that's expected to be worth $100 billion by 2025, according to industry estimates."

Competitors such as Amazon Fresh and Instacart, among others, the story says, "will test Peapod's respected operational prowess and its ability to effectively deliver online orders to customers. Peapod also will be pressed to sharpen and boost its marketing efforts as it tries to become known for more than its signature pea green delivery trucks."

Peapod has evolved, though there might be some reasoned disagreement about whether or not it has kept up with digital disruptors. It has moved from store-pick to a "central, proprietary distribution system designed to more quickly fill and deliver customer orders." The company now has 26 distribution facilities.

While Peapod - as was reported here on MNB the other day - is investing in a new ad campaign, and it "isn't ruling anything out," the company "stresses it prefers the steadfast selling approach that's worked for so long." And Carrie Bienkowski, chief marketing officer, says that "word of mouth" remains the company's best weapon.
KC's View:
Peapod was an early disruptor, and now it has to figure out how to be disruptive yet again ... and so so in a climate with increased an intense competition.

I don't want to be negative here, but I have to say that alarm bells go off for me whenever someone says something like "we prefer the approach that has worked for so long." I'm always more comfortable when business leaders say, "We're willing to break every rule, challenge every assumption, and try pretty much everything that has as its goal being more relevant to, and indispensable to, our customers."