Grocery delivery service Instacart has introduced its new Instacart Meals program that allows consumers to order made-to-order food from grocery stores that can be delivered or picked up within an hour. The Florida-based Publix supermarket chain is the first grocery provider rolling out the new service, which Instacart says will give consumers customizable meals that are “less than half the price” of an average fast-casual order.
The Publix debut will include the company’s popular submarine sandwiches, and at-home customers will be able to customize their meals and track orders through Instacart’s new “Digital Deli Counter” functionality.
For retailers, the new service plugs directly into existing grocery ordering systems, so store employees receive orders through existing, familiar systems so they can begin preparing the orders right away. Instacart shoppers can swing by the counter to pick up any items, which is intended to reduce wait times in store for customers coming in to pick up their meals.
Instacart Meals comes on the heels of a number of recent product expansions including an enhanced Instacart Pickup product, the continued expansion of its alcohol delivery offering and prescription delivery pilot with Costco in select states.
It’s easy to picture Meals rolling out to additional grocery providers, as Instacart has partnered with more than 350 national, regional and local retailers to offer delivery from more than 25,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Instacart is currently available to more than 85 percent of households in the U.S. and more than 70 percent of households in Canada.