Consider yourself lucky if you live in a place where you can take your car to the grocery store.
Such is not the case for New Yorkers, who can only buy what they can carry home with two hands. There’s also the lack of elevators in some apartment buildings to consider, and the weather (you don’t want to be dragging paper bags of food home in the rain.)
It lets customers select grocery items from their local stores (right now, Whole Foods is the only store available in NYC), and for just $US7.99, the order will be delivered within two hours.
You can also choose a window of time during the day for the food to be delivered. The fastest delivery time, the site boasts, was just 12 minutes. Perfect if you forgot one last ingredient for dinner.
The app, which is free, can be used on the go. Here’s what it looks like if you use it on your laptop:
Grocery delivery is nothing new; PeaPod has been around for years. There’s also Fresh Direct, and lots of markets offer their own delivery service.
But Aditya Shah, head of expansion at Instacart, says no one has gotten it right.
“There are caveats when you use other services, like you have to order a minimum of $US100 worth of food, or you had to order really early in the morning to get it in the same day, or you got the produce from a warehouse and you didn’t know what the quality of the food will be like,” Shah told Business Insider.
There’s also the personal touch of the shoppers who work for the startup.
“The shoppers are trained well,” Shah told Business Insider, “and they shop for food for clients the way they would shop for themselves.”
That means checking canned food for dents, milk containers for the latest expiration dates, and chip bags for crushed crumbs.
The personal shoppers then walk, bike, or drive your order to your desired location. No huge trucks, no mixing up your orders with someone else’s, each shopper is only assigned to one person at a time.
Instacart is available in San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. Most locales offer Costco, Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods as delivery options.