Farmstead, a Silicon Valley startup that defines itself as being an artificial intelligence-driven alternative to supermarkets offering same-day delivery, has expanded with a 30-minute Express click-and-collect model using micro-hub pickup points in San Francisco and San Mateo.

The expansion announcement suggests that “the new service puts Farmstead on par with the largest incumbent players in the rapidly expanding online grocery delivery space, many of whom do not yet offer online order and pick-up services in San Francisco … Offering Express Pickup service for the first time in San Francisco is the latest step toward Farmstead's goal of fundamentally reinventing the $670B grocery sector. By using AI technology to optimize the sourcing and distribution of food from farms to customers, Farmstead's fulfillment model is specifically designed to reduce rampant waste in the grocery industry, where more than 38 million tons of food waste are generated each year, while saving customers time and money.”

Farmstead has been in business for about a year, says it has completed more than 17,000 deliveries, has raised $2.8 million in seed funding, and takes aim at the traditional supermarket industry on its website by saying the following:

Supermarkets are a terrible experience and wasteful - they suck up your precious time, hide where your food comes from, and belong to a network of food middle-men that make our food less fresh and more expensive.

KC's View: I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever read such a scathing assessment of the traditional food shopping experience from an e-competitor. Usually, it seems to me, they just position themselves as a better alternative.

I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on Farmstead’s ability to reinvent the shopping experience. I’m more persuaded that this is more an indication of where things are going in general … lots of convenience, with a focus on transparency.