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09/27/2022

Instacart offers health-driven shopping options

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Care Carts
Instacart is promoting health with multiple new initiatives.

Instacart is making it easier for consumers and healthcare providers to shop for nutritious food products.

The on-demand delivery provider is introducing Instacart Health, a new initiative designed to promote access to healthy grocery and produce items. Instacart Health includes new shopping tools, payment options, and collaborative healthcare initiatives. More details follow:

Shopping tools

  • Shoppable carts from health experts and influencers: In August 2022, Instacart launched Carts, an in-app shopping feature which enables pop culture personalities, retailers, and influencers to create collections of shoppable, curated content to help consumers discover new products for same-day delivery. As part of this feature, Instacart is partnering with a range of health influencers and experts to create and share their Carts dedicated to healthy meal planning and products. 
  • Digital pop-ups: Pop-ups are featured sections on the home feed of the Instacart app that serve up digital aisles. For example, in the coming weeks consumers will see a Vegan Favorites Pop-up featuring a range of vegan ingredients, snacks, and desserts. Consumers will also see a Low Sodium Lifestyle Pop-up, which will include sodium-free staples and low sodium snacks and desserts. 
  • Health tags: With Health Tags, customers can now view up to 23 item-level labels while they shop, such as low-salt or low-sugar products, following the Keto diet, or managing a gluten sensitivity, across more than 500,000 items in the Instacart catalog.
  • Enabling shoppable lists for dietitians: Instacart is expanding how it uses existing features like shoppable lists, to enable nutritionists and dieticians to offer their clients personalized and collaborative nutrition plans. Instead of a printout of a recommended diet, patients can get a specific list of items through Instacart for delivery in one tap.

Payment options

  • Expanding affordable payment options: Building on existing featuresfor Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) recipients, Instacart is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to incorporate the SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program into its online platform – with a goal of expanding these benefits to all grocery partners by 2030. Instacart now also has the ability to integrate with retailers so that consumers can scan a product or its corresponding electronic shelf tag using new technology, and find out if it's eligible for SNAP benefits.
  • Fresh Funds: Instacart is introducing Fresh Funds, a new product that enables any organization - including non-profits, to employers, to insurance companies or health systems - to give people funds to buy nutritious food from grocery retailers on its platform. Organizations can do this via a special Instacart digital stipend that can be limited to certain food categories - like produce, for example - giving people easier access to healthy foods and essentials that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive. In the coming weeks, Instacart will launch a Fresh Funds pilot in Indianapolis with Partnership for a Healthier America, a food equity nonprofit, to expand its “Good Food for All” nutrition access and incentive program, with the goal of expanding nationwide in 2023.

Collaborative healthcare

  • Care Carts:  A new solution called Care Carts is designed to give healthcare providers and caregivers the ability to order groceries on behalf of someone else. A variety of organizations and services are now using Care Carts to expand their offerings to their clients, including digital nutrition coaching platform Good Measures, hospital-at-home solution provider Medically Home; food solutions and care management platform NourishedRx in partnership with a number of health plans, and digital nutrition servicesSeason Health and Foodsmart.
  • Care Carts is enabling Instacart, Good Measures, and WellCare of Kentucky to together take steps to enhance Medicaid benefits and make it easier for clients to follow a prescribed nutrition plan. In the coming weeks, WellCare of Kentucky will begin offering its Medicaid members who have been screened for high blood pressure the option to participate in Good Measures’ Good Food Prescription program. A Good Measures registered dietitian will work with participants to personalize to personalize a nutrition plan for them, and will have access to Instacart’s Care Carts to deliver the groceries in the plan directly to the client. 

“We see incredible potential in partnerships like this that span healthcare, nutrition coaching and grocery delivery to address the needs of low income communities – and are excited to continue expanding this work,” Instacart CEO Fidji Simo said in a corporate blog post. 

[Read more: Instacart ups its game]

Instacart partners with more than 900 national, regional, and local retail brands to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 75,000 stores across more than 13,000 cities in North America on the Instacart Marketplace.