This is a third in our series of write ups covering retailers in the battle for online grocery. This time, we will be focusing on Instacart. If you are interested in our previous write ups, we covered Walmart Online Grocery Pickup and Kroger ClickList earlier. Also, if you are wondering why we are focusing on full basket retailers, instead of half basket ones like Amazon.com & Walmart.com, we believe full basket retailers will capture the majority of the future growth in online grocery.
Instacart was founded in 2012 by a former Amazon employee and began grocery delivery in the Bay Area. In June of 2017, as Amazon acquired Whole Foods, Instacart was facing the prospect of losing Whole Foods, its biggest retail partner at the time and an early investor. To the contrary, by early 2018, Instacart has grown to serve 44 states and has been successful at both raising capital (latest round of 200M closed in February of 2018) and expanding its retail partners with 500 new Kroger locations, along with a new partnership with Sam’s Club and Aldi.
As of March 1st, according to Basketful’s research, Instacart has 60 Retail banner partners in grocery alone. They range from national players like Costco reaching 36% of the US population through Instacart to regional players like Bashas’ in Arizona. They also include a lot of major grocers including Kroger, Ahold, Albertsons/Safeway, Publix and H-E-B. And for the time being, they continue to partner with Whole Foods (in year 3 of a 5 year deal). All together, Instacart grocery is available to 60% of the US consumers. Check out the map below to see the locations that have grocery service through Instacart (Hawaii presence not pictured).
Instacart’s full basket grocery reach is second only to Walmart Online Grocery Pickup (80%), while Kroger ClickList is 3rd with 45%. Given the difficulty in achieving such reach, it makes Instacart quiet a force in the battle for shifting grocery dollar. Can Instacart continue to grow its reach with retail partners who don’t have the capital to build out their own offering?
In the future, we will explore Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime Now, Peapod, and Shipt (recently acquired by Target). What other questions do you have about Instacart? Other retailers you think we should consider?