Instacart Takes on DashMart With Aldi Digital C-Store Partnership


Instacart is working with discount grocer Aldi on 30-minute delivery of convenience store goods, a move that could boost the grocery aggregator’s competitive position in the category relative to competitors in the space such as DoorDash and Uber Eats.

The eGrocery marketplace on Thursday (June 1) announced the launch of Aldi Express, a virtual convenience store offering nearly 2,000 products for on-demand delivery from more than 2,100 U.S. Aldi locations, with items including household essentials, snacks, frozen meals and more.

“With this launch, we’re making it easier for customers nationwide to get their favorite ALDI staples delivered faster than ever before,” Ryan Hamburger, vice president of retail at Instacart, said in a statement. “We know how important it is to get what you need when you want it — whether it’s a last-minute delivery for a missing dinner ingredient, milk for the baby or simply wanting a late-night snack.”

The news comes as grocery and restaurant aggregators race to gain share of on-demand convenience sales. Take, for instance, DoorDash, which has been looking to drive adoption of its platform and usage of its DashPass subscription program with its DashMart convenience dark store offering and its third-party partnerships with other convenience retailers.

“We are becoming more and more of a multi-category destination. … We are now acquiring more new customers into the grocery and convenience sectors more than anyone else,” DoorDash Co-founder and CEO Tony Xu told analysts on the company’s most recent earnings call. “Customers expect DoorDash to be able to deliver upon those experiences, whether they are coming in and trying to buy a baseball bat from Dick’s Sporting Goods or trying to buy a pound of lettuce from a grocery store.”

Similarly, Grubhub has its Grubhub Goods digital convenience store in addition to its third-party partnerships, and Uber Eats also has a range of convenience stores on its marketplace.

These kinds of moves are especially key considering consumers’ greater demand for non-grocery items via digital channels than grocery items. Research from PYMNTS’ study, “Digital Economy Payments: The Ascent of Digital Wallets,” which drew from a survey of more than 2,700 U.S. consumers about their omnichannel shopping habits, found that eCommerce represents 12% of food and beverage sales, and a significantly greater 21% of health and personal care items.

For Aldi’s part, grocers increasingly move into the convenience category to boost frequency and create new occasions. Across the pond, for instance, supermarket chain Asda announced Tuesday (May 30) the nearly $3 billion acquisition of convenience retailer EG Group’s United Kingdom and Ireland business.

“Throughout my career in retail — one thing has always been true, that meeting the evolving needs of customers is the route to growth,” Asda Chair Stuart Rose said in a statement. “This transaction is all about driving growth by bringing Asda’s heritage in value to even more communities and accelerating the growth of its convenience retail business.”

Plus, in April, Texas supermarket chain H-E-B, which has more than 430 locations in Texas and Mexico, announced the launch of its Fresh Bites brand, a convenience store chain.