Kroger taps Instacart to offer ultra-fast grocery deliveries across US

Popular grocery chain Kroger has announced a new partnership with Instacart to offer its customers grocery deliveries within half an hour. The new service is called Kroger Delivery Now, leveraging the Instacart online shopping platform with Kroger grocery stores across the US serving as fulfillment centers. Grocery deliveries and pick-up services have become more popular amid the pandemic.

Retailers scrambled to deploy delivery and curbside pick-up options for consumers last year as lockdowns and health concerns resulted in many consumers staying home. These services have proven massively popular and are expected to continue growing beyond the pandemic, making it easier to shop by ordering items online and then having them left on one's porch.

Kroger isn't the first company to leverage Instacart's system for online grocery orders. Aldi, for example, uses the Instacart platform to let its customers shop and order online, then either get their order using curbside pickup or delivery. Kroger Delivery Now is similar — consumers who live near a Kroger store can head over to the Delivery Now website to find their local store, then shop from up to around 25,000 items.

It appears users are required to create a Kroger account and then sign in with it in order to use the Instacart platform for their Kroger orders. Instacart Express subscribers receive Priority Delivery for free on Kroger orders that are over $10, according to the retailer. The new 30-minute delivery joins the company's existing two-hour grocery delivery Kroger launched with Instacart in 2017.

If you've used Instacart to shop for groceries from other stores, you'll recognize the online interface used for Kroger — it is essentially the same as what you get when ordering from Aldi, for example, including categories of goods, the ability to search for items, and the ability to choose what times you want the food delivered by.