Kroger launches first drone flight to deliver groceries
DAYTON, Ohio — Never mind the rain. Kroger took flight with its first retail drone delivery Wednesday morning in Centerville, Ohio, flying a box containing two packages of long-grain rice to Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton on the front lawn of city offices.
Also delivered with the rice — a piece of cloth from the first Wright Brothers Flyer, shared by the Wright family and the Dayton History organization.
After the drone lightly dropped the box on the lawn of City Hall, Compton opened the package, pronouncing himself proud “to be part of this community, the birthplace of aviation.”
The flight was historic, participants said. Ethan Grob, Kroger’s director of last-mile strategy and product, and Beth Flippo, principal engineer for TELEGRID, the New Jersey company piloting the drones, said that with the exception of test flights in Centerville to “friends and family” of Kroger employees, this was the first official commercial drone delivery of a grocery purchase.