retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• E-commerce provider and delivery company Instacart said yesterday that it is beginning the rollout of what it is calling Instacart Meals, described as "a new grocery meals product that powers easy ordering, delivery and pickup of made-to-order food. The launch marks Instacart's move into grocery meal delivery, helping retailers bring more in-store aisles and experiences online for customers across North America."

According to the announcement, "As a first step, Instacart has collaborated with Publix to introduce the product with a new digital deli counter including its popular Publix subs. The product will roll out to Publix locations across Florida in the coming weeks and to nearly all Publix stores across the Southeast in the months ahead, following a Florida pilot … The new Instacart Meals product makes it easy for customers to order specialty counter items alongside their groceries and household essentials, all to be delivered or picked up from the store."

Yup. It gets Instacart into meal delivery. And it also allows Instacart to compile supermarkets' customer data to further arm itself to compete with those same supermarkets at some point. It has weaponized such customer data in the past, and there is no reason to think it can't or won't in the future.
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