Retail Media

Uber Eats adds new advertising options for CPGs

Sponsored items ads are already helping PepsiCo promote products.

uber eats

(Courtesy photo)

Retail media’s growth is continuing across apps. The latest is Uber Eats, which is adding sponsored items to the grocery and shopping experience.

Uber Eats partnered with Criteo Commerce Media to add the new advertising option for CPG brands who are looking to promote brands and products. Sponsored items are listed on search results, similar to how advertising is displayed on Amazon and other marketplaces.

In the coming months, Uber Eats said it plans to launch additional formats, surfaces and markets.

“Uber is uniquely positioned to connect brands with consumers at every stage along the path to purchase," said Travis Colvin, GM of new vertical ads at Uber Eats, in a statement. “As investment behind commerce media continues to accelerate in 2023 and beyond, we’re focused on broadening our capabilities to enable CPG brands to unlock the full potential of Uber’s advertising platform.

PepsiCo served as the alpha partner on the project, which allowed the company to promote brands such as Pepsi, Doritos and Gatorade.

"We are always testing, learning, and experimenting with new platforms to become even more savvy and effective across our ecommerce business,” said Alison Dempsey, head of ecommerce customer marketing at PepsiCo. “...Sponsored Items allows us to connect with Uber customers at the point of purchase, driving awareness and conversion of our brands.”

It’s the latest evolution for Uber Eats from a restaurant-focused delivery service to a full-fledged marketplace offering goods from a vast swath of retailers. The company put a focus on expanding Uber “not eats” last year, and has since advanced capabilities for grocery delivery, as well as grown its assortment through partnerships with stores in convenience and even office categories. On the company’s recent earrings call, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said advertising was a key and fast-growing piece to the puzzle of the business.

“I think we're executing particularly well algorithmically as it relates to improving our marketplace efficiency on the delivery side, higher percentage of batching orders, and using deep-learning techniques to drive down cost per transaction on the delivery side,” Khosrowshahi told analysts. “You add on top of that our advertising product, which continues to grow at high rates – advertisers are up 70% year on year using our platform.”

Introducing advertising yields additional revenue opportunities for the platform. It also stands to become more valuable as the assortment grows: The more products available, the more sought-after premium space becomes. Plus, the Uber Eats’ data could prove valuable for advertisers across the web, leading to an additional business line.

“Delivery is no longer restaurant-based – it’s all-things commerce – and Uber is paving the way for the industry by developing advertising solutions that integrate commerce moments into consumers’ daily lives,” said Brian Gleason, Chief Revenue Officer of Criteo, in a statement.

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