AB InBev is extremely successful with its home delivery service Zé Delivery and has expanded the service last year to 3,000 retailers and 30,000 couriers in Brazil and across 10 additional countries in Latin America.
After launching in 2016 in ZX Ventures, AB InBev’s innovation group, Zé spent several years refining its product, operating model and tech platform, reaching 1.6 million orders in 2019. But its value to consumers and small businesses was accelerated in early 2020 with the arrival of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Zé offers delivery in every state in Brazil and processes six million orders each month. Orders are placed via the website or mobile app, fulfilled by local retailers or small distribution hubs, and delivered by a network of couriers direct to consumers’ homes. Products on offer include a variety of beverages, snacks and related items, like ice and cups. But Zé is best known for ice-cold delivery in 30 minutes or less of popular beer brands, including Brahma, Skol, Antarctica, Budweiser, Stella Artois, Bohemia, Corona, Beck’s and Cervejaria Colorado.
“People were forced to stay home and local neighborhood shops - which often didn’t offer online ordering and delivery services – were in jeopardy,” explained Guilherme Lebelson, Global Vice President of eCommerce and Direct to Consumer for AB InBev.
Although most COVID restrictions have lifted, demand for Zé’s services continues to rise. Monthly orders are growing to record levels, and as of September 2021, Zé delivered 1.5 times more orders than all of 2020. More than half the population of Brazil now is covered by Zé’s services in their community.
“The Zé Company vision is to make convenience accessible and affordable to consumers in every beverage occasion, no matter where,” said Guilherme. “We strive to become the first choice in the beverage segment connecting consumer demand, supply capacity and consumer product brands, online and in-person.”
Zé’s diverse portfolio of brands helps raise awareness and drives consumer adoption. Access to AB InBev’s extensive logistics network, which includes partnerships with millions of retailers and a footprint of owned physical stores, helps to provide last mile delivery efficiency and high service levels.
To that end, Zé Company rapidly expanded its international presence over the last year. Its platforms now handle on-demand delivery orders for consumers in 10 additional countries in Latin America:
Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, covering a population of over 50 million inhabitants.
Zé’s consumer-focus is bringing great results. The app holds 4.9+ star ratings in Google Play and the App Store. By connecting directly with consumers, insights gained from order data are making the platform even more attuned to customer preferences for new products, marketing and sales promotions, and prompting pilots of new offerings such as planned delivery and subscription services. This opens new opportunities as consumers move towards online channels, and Zé is better able to serve them by enabling CPG companies and local producer partners to sell through the platform.