OHIO — Starting this week, Kroger will begin testing drones for delivering groceries to homes in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, the company announced Monday.

Kroger's partner, Drone Express, will have licensed pilots control the drones. The catch is the weight limit is five pounds, which Kroger said will be helpful for last-minute items. 

Customer deliveries are expected to begin sometime in the spring at Kroger's Centerville location. The company also plans to have a second test in California this summer at a Ralph's store, Kroger's largest subsidiary. 

"We’re excited to test drone delivery and gain insights that will inform expansion plans. The pilot reinforces the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern and efficient last-mile solutions," said Jody Kalmbach, Kroger's group vice president of product experience, in a statement.

But during the testing, select items will be offered for home delivery. Kroger said it'll offer three bundles: One for baby care with wipes and formula, another for child wellness with over-the-counter medications and a s'mores bundle with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. 

When launched, customers would be able to place orders online and have it delivered within 15 minutes. 

Kroger is the latest company to dabble in drone experimentation. Amazon and UPS both received Federal Aviation Administration certification for drone delivery in the last two years. 


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