Analysis & Opinion, Culture at Mullen

Grocery shopping gets uber-easy

August 28, 2014 Katie Tammaro

instacartFor most, hitting the grocery store is no picnic. Ever wish you could push a button and have your soy milk and kale delivered in record time? Yes? Well, there is actually an app for that.

In a few finger strokes users can order their provisions from their mobile device and have them delivered within the hour. Launched back in 2012, Instacart is now being dubbed the Uber of grocery delivery. The app follows the same sharing model as Uber and remains nimble by not keeping inventory, allowing shoppers to retrieve items anywhere in proximity for added convenience.

Supermarkets have been doing their best to cater to the growing demand for convenience by offering customers preorder and delivery service options. But these efforts may not be sufficient to satisfy the demand for instant gratification from the Millennial generation (those born between 1982 and 2001). According to the report Trouble in Aisle 5, Millennials are more willing to shop for groceries through online outlets, including via mobile devices, and they are not particularly brand loyal. Why does this matter? Millennials are aging into “head of the household” at a speedy rate. In fact, according U.S. Census data, Millennials over the age of 25 will make up approximately 19% of the population by 2020. It may be a great time to time to put all your eggs in the Instacart basket, and others agree as new funding comes to help bring this on-demand grocery start-up to every city in the U.S.

We know there is great potential when technology marries utility with convenience (à la Uber). Instacart seems uber-easy, but will it have Uber success?