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There’s a new trend in food delivery — and Amazon looks ready to take advantage

  • Amazon is well positioned to capitalize on a hot new trend in food delivery: "dark," "ghost," "delivery-only" or "cloud" kitchens.
  • Often located on industrial sites in shipping containers or warehouses, these delivery-only kitchens provide restaurants with another outlet to get their food to customers.
  • U.K. start-up Deliveroo claims to have pioneered the idea for these kitchens and it is planning to invest heavily in them over the next 12 months.
  • Amazon piled in on Deliveroo in May, leading a $575 million funding round into the London-headquartered company in exchange for a 16% minority stake of the business.

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Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON — Amazon is well positioned to capitalize on a hot new trend in food delivery: "dark," "ghost," "delivery-only" or "cloud" kitchens.  

Often located on industrial sites in shipping containers or warehouses, these delivery-only kitchens provide restaurants with another outlet to get their food to customers. They've been set up worldwide over the last few years and those behind them say they can take the strain off existing restaurant kitchens.

U.K. start-up Deliveroo claims to have pioneered the idea for these kitchens and it is planning to invest heavily in them over the next 12 months.

Assuming all goes well, Amazon should benefit from any success that Deliveroo has with its delivery-only kitchens. That's because Amazon piled in on Deliveroo in May 2019, leading a $575 million funding round into the London-headquartered company in exchange for a 16% minority stake of the business.

Peel Hunt analyst James Lockyer told CNBC that Amazon "doesn't often do things where it doesn't believe it can be #1 or #2."

Putting an end to 'postcode food envy'

Founded in 2013 by Will Shu and Greg Orlowski, Deliveroo uses a network of 80,000 freelance couriers to deliver food from over 100,000 restaurants (and dark kitchens) to people's homes and offices.

Deliveroo launched its first delivery-only kitchens, branded Deliveroo Editions, in May 2017, saying they would put an end to "postcode food envy" as they allow restaurants to expand into new areas.

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