Circle K Pilots New Delivery Option in North Carolina

Up to 7,000 SKUs are available through the Food Rocket app.
Food Rocket pilot at Circle K

LAVAL, Quebec — Circle K is teaming up with delivery startup Food Rocket to pilot its quick delivery business model at two Charlotte, N.C., convenience stores.

Food Rocket will offer up to 7,000 SKUs through its app, with a focus on convenience and grocery products; Circle K breakfast sandwiches, tacos, burgers, pizza, coffee snacks and bakery products; hundreds of cold beverages and top-selling beer; nicotine products; and local favorites.

All orders will be delivered from two micro-fulfillment centers that occupy between 170 and 500 square feet within the Circle K stores located at 8505 S. Tryon St. and 8008 Harris Station Blvd.

"As consumer needs and expectations continue to evolve, we're exploring ways to bring the Circle K brand experience to them where they are and make their lives easier," said Kevin Lewis, chief marketing officer at Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc, parent company of Circle K. "Food Rocket has an amazing team, a unique approach to quick delivery and a differentiated platform that has the potential to be a powerful engine for convenience, and we're looking forward to seeing how this pilot in Charlotte resonates with our customers."

Food Rocket offers both full-time and part-time employment. It will create 100 new jobs in Charlotte.

"Our aim is to bring a one-stop-shop approach to all the customers and save the most valuable thing — their time — while increasing the range of products we offer to customers. I believe the whole rapid delivery industry is diversifying to become closer to customers at lower cost," said Vitaly Alexandrov, CEO and founder of Food Rocket.

Food Rocket launched in San Francisco in spring 2021, followed by a Chicago expansion in February 2022.It takes two to three minutes to process an order, with delivery taking around 10 minutes. Food Rocket guarantees delivery within a timeframe specified in the app, or it will be free.

Couche-Tard announced in April that it was the lead investor in the latest funding round for Food Rocket. This equity investment came through the Circle K Venture Fund, which was established to invest in companies developing transformative solutions that are shaping the future of convenience, as Convenience Store News reported.

The company stated the $25 million series A investment round would be used to expand the Food Rocket service, reinforce its AI-enabled software and enhance its team.

Laval-based Couche-Tard operates in 26 countries and territories, with more than 14,100 stores, of which approximately 10,800 offer road transportation fuel. It is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States, as well as in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Ireland.