Last updated on July 20th, 2021 at 10:55 pm
Ever have a craving for Funyuns that just won’t go away? What about Pop-Tarts? Okay, maybe you’re just a Reese’s Pieces kinda person. Whatever your vice, chances are goPuff has it in stock.
Founded in Philadelphia in the last decade (AKA way back in 2013), goPuff specializes in rush-delivery of convenience store snacks to college-aged consumers.
No, this isn’t like Postmates or DoorDash that partner with restaurants. goPuff is made for late night study sessions, hungover Sundays, and nights when the only dinner you’ll be having is a bowl of fruitloops or microwaved easy Mac. In fact, the most popular items to be goPuff-ed currently are Doritos, Gushers, Gatorade, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and Juul pods. All without having to leave your dorm room.
The rise of food delivery
With over 60% of U.S. consumers ordering delivery each week, food delivery companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates are definitely on the rise. It’s even projected that the online food delivery industry is set to grow even more to the tune of $200 billion by 2025, and more than a few companies want a piece of that pie.
On a similar trajectory is the online grocery shopping industry. If you’re not a fan of roaming the isles or waiting in a 40 minute checkout line on a Sunday night (looking at you, Trader Joe’s on 14th Street in New York City), then chances are you’re a frequent tapper of Instacart, Safeway delivery, or Amazon Fresh. Doubling from 2016 to 2018, the online grocery market is only set to get bigger and bigger as we get lazier and lazier.
Beyond food, there are also delivery apps focused specifically on alcohol. We’ve covered some of the big names in the space — read our comparison of Saucey vs Drizly if you’re curious. Over all, consumer laziness has been fully enabled in the 21st century by the emergence of on-demand delivery startups for just about any consumable good you might imagine. We’ve also reviewed Hungry Harvest and other ugly produce box delivery services – that’s how committed to being lazy we are. Bring us food people!
So what makes goPuff different than other food delivery apps?
Their tagline, “We don’t judge. We deliver.” is a good place to start. We’ve all been there: standing in line, alone, with a bag of Doritos, 2 pints of Ben & Jerry’s, and more Slim Jims than one should consume over their entire lifetime. The convenience store lifestyle isn’t glamorous, but man, we’ve all been there.
Being the only delivery service focused exclusively on convenience store items, here’s how goPuff works:
- Download the goPuff app and create an account.
- Pick and choose your items. goPuff has everything from chips to personal care items to tobacco and booze.
- Checkout by adding a payment option and adding a tip for your driver. Delivery is always only $1.95, unless you become a part of the goPuff FAM for $5.95 a month.
- Your snacks will be dropped quicker than you can finish an episode of whatever Netflix show you’re binging.
To make the deal even sweeter, goPuff also has a rewards program, Puff Points, that allows consumers to earn points on orders, and redeem those points for rewards.
The startup calls itself the “first digital convenience retailer”, keeping over 2500 items stocked in a warehouse near each city it services — just imagine the biggest convenience store you never have to go to — and then delivering said items to consumers on demand, 24/7. They currently serve over 150 markets and continue to expand rapidly. Curious if goPuff is available in your ‘hood? Check it out here.
Why haven’t I heard of goPuff before?
First question: Are you a college student?
If not, then that likely explains it.
goPuff was founded by two former Drexel students, Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, who were tired of making trips to the grocery store, liquor store, and pharmacy each week. Why wander isles when you can be spending time with family and friends, partying, or perhaps even catching up on an Econ 101 homework? They saw a need, sketched out an app idea, and three months later were delivering snacks out of the back of a Plymouth Voyager to close friends. Innovation aside, you gotta respect the hustle!
goPuff speaks to the younger generation: kids who when they want something, expect it on demand. And luckily, technology has enabled that. goPuff’s Instagram is full of food memes, tweets about goPuff from consumers, and drool-worthy food photos. Hitting just over 70,000 followers, goPuff is tapping into the influencer frenzy to boost not only their user base, but also their funding.
Having just raised $1 billion — yes, that “B” was intentional — goPuff isn’t going anywhere. Softbank Vision and Accel Partners have backed GoBrands, goPuff’s parent company, with plans of supporting the young company’s expansion over the next few years, as well as taking on the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and countless other delivery apps. When it comes to market share, they’ll have to take on giants like DoorDash, which accounts for 33% of the market, Grubhub, 32%, UberEats, 19%, and Postmates, 10%.
goPuff vs Postmates vs DoorDash
goPuff vs Postmates vs DoorDash: Comparing Delivery Service Apps
|Delivery Fee||$1.95||Varies: $0.99 – $9.99||Varies|
|Membership Program||goPuff FAM: Free delivery & bonuses for $5.95 per month||Postmates Unlimited: Free delivery for $9.99 per month or $99 per year||DashPass: Free delivery and lower service fees for $9.99 a month|
|Delivery Surge Times||✖️||✔️||✖️|
|Delivers Convenience Store Items / Groceries||✔️||✔️||✖️|
|Delivers Restaurant Food||✖️||✔️||✔️|
You’re probably thinking, “But I already have a favorite delivery app!” Well, you’re not married to it. And especially if you’re prone to act on late night munchies or have a sweet tooth fulfilled exclusively by convenience store delights, goPuff could be your new favorite. But, just for kicks, let’s talk about the alternatives to goPuff in case you aren’t sold on them.
Top goPuff alternatives
The best known alternatives to goPuff are Postmates, Instacart, and DoorDash. But if you need grocery delivery, you will also want to consider Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods, who deliver more than just the product boxes that you probably know them for.
In stark contrast to goPuff, Postmates has always been a slightly more elevated version of the classic food delivery app. They serve favorites from local eateries so you can order your favorite green juice from the smoothie shop or a wagyu beef cheeseburger from down the block.
Occasionally, Postmates makes beer and alcohol available in select markets via their app, but by and large the company is focused on their core strength: delivering hot meals from your favorite restaurants, fast, for a fee of $0.99 to $9.99.
The other big kahuna in the online food delivery world is DoorDash. Having captured the largest market share of food delivery, DoorDash has become a household favorite, having partnered with over 300,000 different restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. Their app is dead simple to use, and you’ll have your food in no time. They don’t charge a delivery fee explicitly, making everything taste that much better.
But unlike goPuff, you won’t find any convenience store items on DoorDash. More inline with Postmates, DD is best known for local restaurant and fast food delivery.
So, should I order something goPuffed?
Probably! I mean, what’s better than having two pints of ice cream, plus your favorite salty snack delivered when you’re unwillingly unable to get off the couch?
Curious to see what all the hype was about, I ordered a few of my own guilty pleasures (2 liters of Pepsi and a king-sized Snickers) from goPuff, and overall, it was a smooth experience.
Having now opened up this pandora’s box of sugary and saturated-fat-filled options, there’s no going back. And I imagine for heavy Juul pod users, this service is an absolute godsend.
We’d love to hear about your experience with goPuff — especially what you ordered! — in the comments below. What do you think about the service?