Fast Grocery Start-up JOKR is Closing Up Shop in the U.S.

15-minute grocery startup JOKR is shutting down U.S. operations due to economic uncertainty. We analyzed the state of the fast grocery landscape in the United States.

Fast grocery start-ups are having a rough go of it. Just last month, Gopuff shut down 22 underperforming warehouses in an effort to ​​shore up overhead in low-volume areas, while Gorillas was forced to lay off some 300 employees. Moreover, in March, Russian-backed start-ups Fridge No More and Buyk shut down operations entirely.

This takes us to the Berlin-based JOKR, which announced last week that they are closing up shop in the United States due in part to global economic uncertainty. With so much turmoil in the fast grocery market, we decided to use our app watchlist to check in on how the top fast grocery apps are performing in the United States. Here’s what we found…

iOS downloads for fast grocery apps are declining…

Above you’ll find daily U.S. downloads for the iOS versions of JOKR, getir, Gopuff, and Gorillas. In particular, these are downloads from the period between January 1st and June 21st, 2022.

In total, these apps have been downloaded 645,597 times in the United States in the period charted.

  • Gopuff leads the way with 557,349 downloads so far in 2022.
  • getir has 69,541 downloads.
  • Gorillas has 16,215 downloads.
  • JOKR has 2,492 downloads.

At first glance these might appear to be strong numbers, but the trends aren’t particularly encouraging. For example, early on in the year, Gopuff was generating between 7,000 and 10,000 downloads per day. Now they rarely crack 2,000.

Even getir, one of the most dominant fast grocery start-ups globally, has struggled to catch on in the U.S. Their daily downloads have been more or less stagnant at 300 - 400 per day for the entirety of 2022.

But JOKR really struggled. Their 2022 U.S. downloads were heavily frontloaded, with the vast majority coming in January and February. They also went long stretches without generating a single download. Granted, they were serving only Boston and New York before pulling the plug, but those are inauspicious numbers all the same.

Android downloads are equally lethargic…

Now let’s look at the Android numbers. Above you’ll find daily U.S. downloads for the Android versions of JOKR, getir, Gopuff, and Gorillas. Again, these are downloads from the period between January 1st and June 21st, 2022.

In total, these apps have been downloaded 446,435 times in the United States thus far in 2022.

  • Gopuff leads the way with 351,881 downloads.
  • getir has 66,504 downloads.
  • Gorillas has 22,892 downloads.
  • JOKR has 5,158 downloads.

Once again, the numbers look strong at first glance. But downloads have begun to taper off across the board. Gopuff began the year with a record 10,549 downloads on January 4th, but has since settled into the 1,000 - 2,000 range. getir, Gorillas, and JOKR, meanwhile, are languishing below 200 downloads, with their most recent daily counts totalling 19, 72, and 38 respectively.

But let’s look at the U.S. usage numbers

Of course, downloads do not equal usage. So, let’s take a quick look at how many monthly active users (MAU) the Android versions of these apps have in the United States…

Gopuff Android Monthly Active Users (January 2022 - May 2022)

Gopuff usage clearly dropped between March and April, but the app still boasted an impressive 225,476 monthly active users in May.

getir Android Monthly Active Users (January 2022 - May 2022)

getir is making progress. While it is still a ways off from Gopuff in terms of total usage (18,854 MAUs vs 225,476 MAUs), it’s on a steady upward trajectory.

Gorillas Android Monthly Active Users (January 2022 - May 2022)

The Gorillas app is also on the rise. However, they may not be growing fast enough for their liking. While they started the year with close to 2,500 MAUs, they’ve now got 2,879 MAUs. An increase, but a modest one.

JOKR Android Monthly Active Users (January 2022 - May 2022)

Finally, before pulling out of the U.S., JOKR was on a bit of an upswing, climbing from just under 1,000 MAUs in April to 1,417 in May. Still, this is more or less where they started the year, indicating that growth has been tough sledding.

Final Thoughts

From a consumer’s perspective, fast grocery apps are incredibly convenient. But the business model is easy to replicate, meaning the barriers to entry for new offerings aren’t particularly high.

In other words, what appears to be happening is that, after an initial burst of excitement from investors, we’re now entering a period of good old fashioned consolidation. Sure, market uncertainty isn’t helping, but the bigger problem for companies like JOKR and Gorillas seems to be tough local competition limiting growth opportunities outside their home markets.

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