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Instacart Challenges Restaurant Delivery Space Through Grocery Stores

Jayson Derrick

Instacart thinks it found a way to stick out in the food delivery business by providing consumers with a cheaper option through grocery stores.

What Happened

Instacart announced Thursday the launch of Instacart Meals which gives consumers the option of ordering specialty counter items found in grocery stores as an alternative to pricier restaurants. Instacart consumers will benefit from similar made-to-order meals but at less than half the price of an average fast-casual restaurant chain.

The Instacart app not only allows users to customize food orders but the order management system will generate precise preparation and counter pickup timings.

"Instacart Meals wasn't a simple technical feat — the team built an entirely new set of features right into our existing app and folded minute-to-minute counter collection windows into our already complex fulfillment chain," said Mark Schaaf, Chief Technology Officer of Instacart.

Why It's Important

Instacart Meals gives grocery stores the ability to increase prepared food sales which carry some of the highest margins of anything sold in grocery stores, Instacart said.

"It's critical that our grocery partners are able to capture these sales online with delivery and pickup — it's a boost to their business and a key part of the shopping experience for customers," Instacart President Nilam Ganenthiran said in the press release.

Instacart has collaborated with Publix to introduce the new feature and a roll-out across Florida will occur in the coming weeks. Within the coming months, the partnership will expand to Publix stores across the Southeast.

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