Miami Residents Can Now Get Instacart in 15 Minutes

The grocery delivery company can handle speedy delivery through its nano-fulfillment centers powered by Publix.

May 02, 2022

Publix Teams Up With Instacart

LAKELAND, Fla. & SAN FRANCISCO—Instacart launched 15-minute grocery delivery in Miami, utilizing its nano-fulfillment solution, Carrot Warehouses, according to a news release. Publix is collaborating with Instacart on fulfillment for the Carrot Warehouses.

Starting last week and rolling out over the coming weeks, grocery delivery in as little as 15 minutes was launched in Miami’s Brickell, Coral Gables and Wynwood neighborhoods.

Instacart and Publix have developed a custom model for 15-minute delivery using Carrot Warehouses, allowing Publix to offer thousands of items delivered from nano-fulfillment centers—including fresh produce, dairy, meat and more—a broader selection than the industry standard for 15-minute delivery, ensuring items are in stock nearly 100% of the time, according to Instacart.

“Instacart’s model is to empower retailers to better serve their customers. We’re taking the same approach by building Carrot Warehouses, a network of nano-fulfillment facilities that we operate on retailers’ behalf, to help retailers deliver unmatched speed and selection to their customers. We’re proud to be the platform that helps retailers offer the many use cases their consumers expect, from 15-minute delivery to the weekly shop,” said Daniel Danker, vice president of product at Instacart. “With today’s Miami launch, Publix is bringing 15-minute delivery to their customers for the first time.”

Publix and Instacart have worked together since 2016, when they launched same-day delivery. Through the Instacart Platform, Publix also offers curbside pickup, delivery and pickup of specialty items like alcohol and deli products, as well as online EBT SNAP payment acceptance.

“As we continue to evolve our e-commerce strategy, 15-minute delivery is another example of how we’re committed to meeting our customers wherever they are—whether it’s in-store or online for a convenience need,” said Erik Katenkamp, vice president omnichannel and application development at Publix. “Introducing nano-fulfillment centers powered by Instacart Platform is another step in our omnichannel strategy, and we look forward to continuing to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that rapid delivery has faced headwinds due to intense competition in the space and high expenses. Normal speed delivery services use gig workers, but many rapid grocery delivery services, such as Gorillas, hire employees to make sure they can quickly source and deliver orders. Gopuff, which is the largest rapid delivery platform and valued at $15 billion, didn’t make a profit last year, reports the Journal. Uber Eats have only just recently started turning a profit, so investors are concerned about the viability of the rapid delivery model for smaller companies.

Instacart Chief Financial Officer Nick Giovanni told the Journal in an interview that he thinks the rapid delivery trend could stick around because consumers will “absolutely” still be demanding quick delivery of groceries in 10 years, as they will have become accustomed to the speed.

Online sales of groceries soared during 2020 when shelter-at-home orders were prevalent, and while online grocery sales continue to grow, the rate is much slower, according a Forrester report based on IRI data.

Food as a percentage of e-commerce is now bigger than ever, comprising 37% today versus 26% pre-pandemic; however, for the majority of grocery categories, most sales still occur offline. All of the food categories that IRI tracks have single- or low-double-digit percentages of sales transacted online, and three categories—frozen food, health and beauty—declined in online penetration since their peak during the pandemic.

According to NACS’ “Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail” report, 61% of retailers are satisfied with their third-party delivery partners. Concerns include high fees, little access to consumer data, difficulties delivering age-restricted products and service and operational issues. Read more about these challenges and what c-stores are doing to make delivery work for their businesses in “Delivering Convenience” in the December 2021 issue of NACS Magazine.