If you only find out during cooking that the eggs are gone, you no longer have to squeeze in all sorts of turns to be able to eat.

Thanks to the advancing fast grocery delivery services, a new box of eggs can be delivered within ten minutes.

While the hungry customer has more and more choice, flash delivery companies are putting their revenue model aside to win over the market.

It is now a well-known phenomenon in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague: deliverymen of the flash delivery services Gorillas, Flink, Getir and Zapp who hurriedly cycle through the city to get groceries to the customer as quickly as possible.

But the services are also trying to gain a foothold in other student cities such as Leiden, Tilburg and Nijmegen.

They let their customers order groceries via an app, often with the promise that they will not be more expensive than in the supermarket.

The deliverers can then reach the customer quickly thanks to the many dark stores that the companies have.

"These are small distribution centers in a shopping centre, for example," says Kitty Koelemeijer, professor of marketing and retailing at Nyenrode Business University.

Deliverers can look for the products there, jump on their bicycles and then cycle to the customer within eight minutes or so.

Business model doesn't work in smaller towns and villages

With the promise of speed, this business model comes with an important condition: it only works in densely populated areas with many potential customers. "It seems to me a lot more difficult to keep that promise in smaller cities or in the countryside," says Martijn Arets, an expert in the field of online platforms. "There you can never reach the numbers you need to earn money in terms of customers and orders."

And earning money is going to be difficult for the flash deliverers anyway.

Although a huge amount has been invested in the speed camera delivery recently, Getir raised $550 million in June, it is questionable how many will survive in the end.

It is virtually impossible to make a profit with the current business model, Arets and Koelemeijer both say.

Staff is expensive, the process is labour-intensive, the many locations that are needed as distribution centers are not free, and special regulations regarding speed cameras are waiting.

Higher delivery costs or other revenue model

In time, that may change.

For example, Arets expects that the companies will also use longer delivery times in the future and perhaps charge higher delivery costs.

Koelemeijer thinks that they can also look for their revenue model outside their own company, by also using the flash deliverers for other companies.

"The Dutch are not yet used to having orders delivered on the same day," she says.

"But if these flash services start working together with other companies, you could, for example, have your Blokker order at home within fifteen minutes."

If the speed camera deliverers create a network with which they can deliver orders locally, from any company, that can become their revenue model.

So there are opportunities for the companies to write green figures, but for the investors who put millions in the delivery services, it remains a big gamble. According to Arets, there is one important reason to take that gamble: it is a market with limited space. Once you have won over the customers, you have a good position in a growth market. Koelemeijer: "

The winner takes it all

."