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Uber strikes again

San Francisco-based Uber, the international mobile-app-based transportation phenomenom valued at US$40 billion, has entered into another on-demand vertical best summarized as “hungry to happy in 10 minutes.”

Combining consumer trend yearnings for convenience, speed and food, Uber’s simple and quick “tap for a ride” just transcended into “tap for a meal.”

Uber has officially launched its own version of a meal-delivery service. UberEATS is operating in New York City (between 14th and 40th Streets), Chicago and Barcelona, as well as my home turf of Los Angeles, where the service operates as UberFRESH.

And just why was Barcelona chosen as a launch city? Beyond the fact it is home to more than 1.5 million people, it just so happens to be the host of the 2015 Mobile World Congress, where crowds of developers and investors will have the opportunity to try out Uber’s latest service firsthand! As a side note, Uber was actually banned from offering its taxi services in Spain by Spanish authorities after strong opposition from licensed taxi drivers who complained Uber was threatening their livelihoods. But the new delivery service gives Uber drivers an alternative way of making money through the Uber network.

For a delivery fee of US$3 (US$4 in New York City), UberEATS delivers from the original Uber app, where you’ll find a preset menu of one or two “curated” meals that change daily. Today’s lunch options ranged from a lobster roll, an exclusive sandwich or a kale Caesar salad while a classic turkey sandwich or chicken vermicelli was available for dinner. Using its own dedicated drivers, Uber will deliver lunch for between US$9 and US$15 while dinners average US$10 to US$15.

The tap-for-a-meal process mirrors exactly what you do when ordering a cab from Uber. Input your address or move the pin to your location. Tap View. Choose a meal. Hit Place Order and in 10 minutes or less, Uber will notify you when your driver arrives.

Uber’s short-term promotions are also trending at the level of brilliant. Whether its ice-cream trucks, rides in a DeLorean from the film franchise “Back to the Future,” a Christmas Tree delivery service or Uber’s support of National Cat Day where Uber drivers delivered kittens, there is no telling what’s next on the Uber delivery radar.

The power of Uber and its business model is fascinating to say the least. What is your crystal-ball intuition for the next delivery trend?

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