Instacart's new Priority Delivery option promises delivery in 30 minutes

Instacart has announced a new Priority Delivery option that will enable customers in eligible regions to get their orders in as fast as half an hour. The company describes this new option as akin to the 'express lane' checkout in a grocery store, though it will only be available in some of the largest cities in the US to start.

Instacart enables users to order groceries from many stores in their city; gig workers do the actual in-store shopping and deliver the items to the customer's home. For customers in the US and Canada, getting these orders in 30 minutes is an option with Priority Delivery — though it remains unclear whether workers on the platform will be given any extra incentives to meet the short timeframe.

The Priority Delivery option will arrive in more than 15 big cities in the US to start, according to Instacart, including Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. More than 300 stores in these cities will be available to customers who want the 30-minute delivery option, including grocery store retail chains like Safeway and Ralphs.

Instacart says it plans to bring this new option to customers in more cities and stores in the future, though it doesn't reveal which cities may be next in the pipeline for Priority Delivery. Likewise, the company says it is expanding the number of cities where customers will be able to opt for 45-minute and 60-minute deliveries.

Customers located in one of the big cities where Priority Delivery is offered will be able to see which retailers offer the rapid delivery by looking for a new lightning bolt icon. It likewise remains unclear whether the Priority Delivery will be available for all orders or if large orders won't be eligible.