Instacart says demand is surging amid the coronavirus outbreak, and it will now offer grocery deliveries without human contact

Instacart is giving shoppers more flexibility for grocery deliveries. Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon
  • Instacart’s sales growth rate increased by 10 times last week compared to the previous week, the company said Thursday.
  • With the growth in demand, the company is rolling out a new feature called “Leave at My Door Delivery.”
  • The service allows shoppers to accept deliveries without being present.
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Instacart is rolling out a new option for shoppers to get their groceries delivered as sales on its platform surge.

Instacart said Thursday that its sales growth rate was 10 times higher this week versus the prior week. The sales growth rate increased as much as 20 times in certain states, including California, New York, Washington, and Oregon.

Hand sanitizer, vitamins, powdered milk, face masks, and canned goods are among the most popular items people are buying, the company said.

With this increase in demand, Instacart is rolling out a new service called “Leave at My Door Delivery.” The service allows Instacart shoppers to receive grocery deliveries without being present.

Instacart designed the service to give more flexibility to shoppers who may not be home at the time of their deliveries. It may also appeal to shoppers who are concerned about limiting contact with others during the coronavirus outbreak.

Instacart shoppers can opt into ‘Leave at My Door Delivery’ at checkout. Instacart

Instacart had been testing “Leave at My Door Delivery” with a group of customers for several months. After seeing a surge in demand for the service within the last week, Instacart decided to roll it out to all customers, the company said.

“Up until now, the feature had been limited in availability to a subset of customers as part of a beta test intended to create a more convenient option for customers not home at the time of delivery,” the company said in a statement. “Based on the increased demand for this new product feature, today we’ve made it available to all Instacart customers – bringing even more flexibility and optionality to their grocery delivery experience.”

The company also said it’s closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus and plans to “serve the entire Instacart community safely, while also ensuring our customers have access to uninterrupted delivery and pickup services for the groceries and household essentials they need.”