In a bid to bridge the gap and make wholesome foods more accessible to families in need, Instacart recently unveiled its partnership with Wellness West, a coalition of health organizations in Chicago. Under this initiative, eligible members receive a $79 monthly grocery stipend through Instacart’s Fresh Funds program, empowering them to purchase qualifying nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables for convenient home delivery.
Instacart Health, a subsidiary dedicated to improving accessibility to healthy food, is the driving force behind this endeavor. According to Sarah Mastrorocco, Vice President, and General Manager of Instacart Health, “Through Instacart Health, we’re using the power of our technology to bridge the gap and ensure more families can put wholesome foods on their tables.”
This collaboration is just one facet of Instacart’s ongoing commitment to providing grocery delivery services to consumers who may otherwise struggle to afford it. By expanding its acceptance of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Instacart now reaches households in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., representing nearly 95% of SNAP participants.
Moreover, Instacart has entered into strategic partnerships to extend its reach. In recent times, it has teamed up with Mount Sinai Solutions to offer grocery benefits for post-operative and postpartum patients. Additionally, a collaboration with InComm Payments’ healthcare unit enables members to access grocery and over-the-counter items for delivery.
These initiatives come at a time when Instacart is experiencing a slowdown in sales growth in its consumer business. As disclosed in the company’s Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before its initial public offering (IPO), the growth in gross transaction value (GTV) dropped to 3% and 6% in the first two quarters of this year, following a more robust 303% GTV growth between 2019 and 2020.
The demand for online grocery shopping is evident, but cost can be a prohibitive factor for many consumers. Partnerships aimed at benefits-focused accessibility play a crucial role in breaking down barriers and reaching new demographics within the eGrocery space.
Research conducted by PYMNTS Intelligence’s “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Gender Divide Edition” in the last year revealed that higher-income consumers are more inclined to purchase groceries online. By expanding the reach of eGrocery to include lower-income consumers, Instacart aims to bolster adoption within this segment.
Data from PYMNTS Intelligence’s report “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Catching the Coming eCommerce Wave” found that 32% of shoppers express a strong likelihood to increase their online grocery purchases in the next year, highlighting the growing appetite for this convenient shopping option. With innovative partnerships like the one with Wellness West, Instacart is well-positioned to cater to this evolving demand and promote better access to essential groceries.