Instacart Creeps Further Into DoorDash’s Space With Juice Bar Partnership

instacart, IPO, groceries, delivery

In the 2010s and even for the early days of the pandemic, restaurant aggregators and leading grocery aggregator Instacart coexisted peacefully, each handling their own food categories, perhaps learning from one another’s business strategies but not coming into direct competition.

However, in recent years, restaurant aggregators such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub have all been making significant investments in their online grocery delivery businesses, creating competition for Instacart where previously it was the only major player in the space. Now, Instacart has announced a new partnership that veers suspiciously close to the purview of its restaurant aggregator competitors. Last week, the aggregator announced a partnership with Southern California juice bar Pressed, according to a press release published in QSR.

The partnership is something of a gray area, with Pressed operating somewhere between the restaurant and grocery spaces, selling its products at a bar in its stores, with consumers able to order off the menu, but also selling packaged products both fresh and shelf stable.

“Pressed is dedicated to making healthy food accessible to everyone, and our partnership with Instacart further enables us to meet our customers where we are,” Pressed CEO Pawan Kalra said in a statement. “We’re expanding our suite of delivery solutions to make our nutritious, plant-based offerings more accessible than ever.”

Given the category ambiguity of Pressed’s business model, the effort does not mark a clear move on Instacart’s part into restaurant aggregators’ territory, but rather a step closer to it, especially given the grocery aggregator’s other moves throughout the year.

In January, Instacart announced the launch of its Ready Meals Hub, offering hot food from grocers’ in-store grocerants and other hot food selections. At the time, the company was direct about its efforts to capture sales occasions that would have otherwise gone to restaurant delivery services.

Read more: Instacart Aims to Price out DoorDash With Launch of Meal Delivery

“With our new Ready Meals Hub, we’re dishing up inspiring, more affordable and nutritious food alternatives to restaurant delivery that make it easier for consumers to break up with takeout this year,” Instacart Vice President and Head of Product Daniel Danker said in a statement at the time.

These moves come as consumers’ use of same-day grocery aggregators such as Instacart is on the rise but remains well behind their adoption of restaurant aggregators, according to data from the May edition of PYMNTS’ ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report, which drew from a survey of more than 2,600 U.S. consumers.

See more: 19M More Consumers Went Online to Bank, Buy and Pay Bills in May 2022

The study revealed that the share of consumers using same-day grocery aggregators at least once a month rose 14% in May from 30% of all consumers in April to 34%. However, this increase still kept grocery aggregators well behind their restaurant counterparts, which the majority of consumers use. Monthly restaurant aggregator use rose 8% in the same period from 52% of all consumers to 56%.

Read more: Daily Grocery Aggregator Use Is Spiking, PYMNTS Research Reveals