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01/14/2022

Instacart delivers prepared meals from grocers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Instacart is partnering with grocers to take on takeout.

Instacart is teaming up with select grocery partners to offer customers an alternative to takeout food.

The on-demand delivery platform is launching Ready Meals, a program designed to fresh, ready-made meals delivered to customers in as fast as 30 minutes. Beginning Thursday, Jan. 13, customers can shop hundreds of meals via the Ready Meals Hub in the Instacart App.

The Ready Meals Hub is a new in-app destination featuring prepared foods from grocers including Publix, Giant, Food Lion, Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Martin’s, and Kroger. In the coming weeks, ready-made meals from ShopRite will also be featured.

Specific ready-made meals include freshly prepared grab-and-go salads and sandwiches from Publix, soups and sushi from Kroger, and rotisserie chicken from Food Lion. Customers across 35 states can have prepared meals delivered from more than 4,100 participating grocery stores. 

According to Instacart, customers on its platform who purchase prepared foods and catering items like hot and cold side dishes, cakes and sushi have larger baskets and shop more frequently than those customers who do not. 

The launch of Ready Meals follows Instacart’s recent acquisition of FoodStorm, an SaaS order management system (OMS) that powers end-to-end order-ahead and catering experiences for grocery retailers. Instacart has also recently introduced similar offerings to increase customer access to discount and convenience items.

In November 2021, the company rolled out a Dollar Store Hub which lets customers browse deals and additional savings from roughly 14,000 discounters. The rollout of the Instacart Dollar Store Hub followed the September 2021 launch of the Instacart Convenience Hub. Customers in nearly every major U.S. city can use the Instacart Convenience Hub to shop for convenience products 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over the coming months, in addition to expanding FoodStorm’s technology to new partners on the Instacart Marketplace, Instacart expects to expand the Ready Meals Hub to feature several more grocers and will work to make Ready Meals available to more retailers.

“With our new Ready Meals Hub, we’re dishing up inspiring, more affordable and nutritious food alternatives to restaurant delivery that make it easier for consumers to break up with takeout this year. We’re also helping retailers drive more sales and increase their ‘share of stomach’ when it comes to their customers’ daily mealtime decisions,” said Daniel Danker, VP & head of product at Instacart. “From fresh soups and salads for a quick lunch to take-and-bake casseroles, pasta dishes and meat and seafood entrees for the family dinner, we’re proud to serve as a powerful enablement partner for retailers like Publix, Giant, Food Lion, Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Martin’s, and Kroger, creating new ways for them to give busy people and families across the U.S. more ways to shop smart, eat healthy and feed their cravings faster than ever before.” 

Instacart has partnered with more than 700 national, regional and local retailers to deliver from more than 65,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America.