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Instacart launches new product for grocers

Instacart, a North American leader in online grocery, announced the launch of Instacart Meals — a new grocery meals product that powers easy ordering, delivery and pickup of made-to-order food. The launch marks Instacart's move into grocery meal delivery, helping retailers bring more in-store aisles and experiences online for customers across North America.instacart

The new Instacart Meals product makes it easy for customers to order specialty counter items alongside their groceries and household essentials, all to be delivered or picked up from the store. As a first step, Instacart has collaborated with Publix to introduce the product with a new digital deli counter including its popular Publix subs. The product will roll out to Publix locations across Florida in the coming weeks and to nearly all Publix stores across the Southeast in the months ahead, following a Florida pilot.

"We're excited to introduce Instacart Meals to customers nationwide. At less than half the price of an average fast-casual food order, made-to-order grocery meals offer busy people and families access to a fresh and more affordable option when life is hectic and dinner is now," said Nilam Ganenthiran, president of Instacart. "Made-to-order food counters are among the fastest growing aisles in the grocery store — these items represent up to 15 percent of sales for our grocery partners and have among the highest margins of anything sold in-store. 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."

"At Publix, we're always looking for ways to ensure our customers have the best experience possible, both in our stores and online. With Instacart, it's easier than ever for our customers to get prepared subs fast — the way they want — delivered along with their grocery essentials," said Maria Brous, Publix director of communications. "Our expanded collaboration also means that our customers will not have to wait in line for our popular Publix subs. From delivery and pickup in as fast as two hours, to alcohol delivery and now, the deli and subs, we've brought our store online with Instacart and made it even easier for our customers to enjoy the food they love with friends and family — just in time for the big game."

"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. "All of these technologies work together, enabling customers to design their perfect made-to-order meal from millions of order combinations, all with the tap of a button."

Instacart Meals comes on the heels of a number of recent Instacart product expansions designed to extend the aisles and options for busy people and families moving their weekly grocery shop online. The company recently announced an enhanced Instacart Pickup product as well as the continued expansion of its alcohol delivery offering.