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Anne Erickson

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(Photo by Andrew Wong/Getty Images)

Drones are able to get a lot more common, as Kroger has announced it plans to do grocery delivery with autonomous drones later this year in parts of the Midwest.

Kroger has teamed up with Drone Express for the pilot program. What’s unique is that the drones will use the customer’s smartphone to deliver directly to the customer, instead of an address, so delivery could even come to picnics and beaches.

“Kroger’s new drone delivery pilot is part of the evolution of our rapidly growing and innovative e-commerce business – which includes pickup, delivery, and ship and reached more than $10 billion in sales in 2020,” Kroger’s Jody Kalmbach, group vice president of product experience, said in a statement.

Kalmbach added, “The pilot reinforces the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern, cost-effective, and efficient last-mile solutions. We’re excited to test drone delivery and gain insights that will inform expansion plans as well as future customer solutions.”

Service will be quick, as eligible orders will be delivered in as little as 15 minutes.

Special bundled products will also be available, such as baby-care bundles, child-wellness bundles and even a S’mores bundle.

Test flights for the drone program start this week in Ohio.

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com and tweet at her @AnneErickson!