Peapod celebrates a key birthday and forecasts a rosy future for both itself and the industry with growing use of broadband and increasing presence of women shopping online.
As Peapod turns 15, CEO Marc van Gelder sees a bright future ahead both for itself and the online food and beverage space. “In the past, this industry was overrated,” van Gelder says. “But today the sector is underrated. The increasing use of high-speed broadband, advances in portable technology and the growing numbers of women in the online shopping ranks are mounting forces that will spur the industry to mature.”
Peapod, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this month and has estimated annual sales of about $140 million, good for the 51st spot on the Internet Retailer Top 300 Guide to online retailers, is growing in large measure because of the company’s parent, Royal Ahold.
Royal Ahold acquired Peapod in 2001. The acquisition has allowed Peapod to employ a more integrated bricks-and-clicks strategy with Ahold U.S.A chains such as Stop & Shop and Giant and has given Peapod greater buying power, van Gelder says. “We are leveraging the buying power of Ahold to make higher-volume, lower-priced purchases, reduce distribution and transportation costs, and boost inventory management to reduce out of stocks,” he says.
Peapod offers about 8,000 SKUs and has more than 155,000 online shoppers in 13 markets. Forrester Research estimates that online food and beverage sales will total $5.1 billion in 2004, rising to $19.4 billion in 2010.