Following the launch of a pilot Instacart Meals programme in January, Publix and Instacart are rolling out the initiative across the chain of over 1,200 stores.
Instacart seeking to grow meal delivery business
The Instacart Meals service enables Publix customers to order products from the major US retailer’s deli, including meal solutions, for store pickup or delivery in as little as one hour. The expansion marks Instacart's continued move into grocery meal delivery, helping retailers like Publix to bring more in-store aisles and experiences online for customers. While the on-demand, delivery company has established a leadership position with grocery delivery, companies such as DoorDash and UberEats have partnered with several retailers to offer meal delivery, while also moving closer to Instacart’s territory by also offering grocery delivery.
Bringing retailers’ programmes to life online
The ‘digital deli’ solution enables customers to customise products through its build-your-own functionality, while the ‘smart cart combo’ allows them to take advantage of the retailer’s money-saving sub combo programme. This latter feature is critical to enabling traditional product suppliers to partner with retailers’ foodservice solutions online, where cross-merchandising and up-selling can be facilitated. The system is also fully integrated into the retailer’s order management system, enabling store teams to align production with pickup or deli very times.
Activating the foodservice margin opportunity
The expansion of this service comes as retailers look for new ways to optimise their investments in foodservice. In the US, this has been a priority area of development for several years. However, with shoppers consolidating their stores visits into fewer trips, and work from home mandates remaining in place in many locations, sales have been under pressure. Several retailers have partnered with on-demand delivery services to improve access, especially as many consumers are seeking out inspiration for evening meal solutions. For many, activating this part of their store is a priority given the high margins it can deliver.
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