Today Instacart, a grocery delivery service, added an initial set of recipes to its service, helping customers purchase groups of items that combine into finished dishes. For the non-chef among us (hello, my name is Alex), this is a boon.
The news is small for the day: Instacart has curated a list of recipes that its users can access. However, the company told TechCrunch that it intends to greatly expand that list, and eventually allow its users to upload their own recipes.
Instacart is a physical grocery delivery service that is expanding its digital platform. Recipes are an interesting addition and an anti-pivot of sorts. Instacart customers want to quickly order food that can be used to feed themselves and others, and recipes make that a simpler process.
If Instacart can grow its recipe list in an inexpensive way, and effectively bake it into its search process, I can see it being a popular option. Also, I am likely willing to buy more total items – thus increasing Instacart’s revenue – if I know where they are going. When I buy only what I need for the day, I spend less per order. Instacart doesn’t like that.
This won’t be the last non-ordering function that Instacart adds to its platform. Recipes are a natural expansion of ordering foodstuffs, and this addition to the platform could improve its unit economics. That and its recent expansion into Chicago, which I spoke about with Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta. When we first spoke about it, I was skeptical. Could the company’s model work in Chicago, with its aggressive weather and huge land area?
But according to Mehta, in the first few days of Instacart’s arrival in the City Warm Forgot, it is already a larger market than Mountain View, Palo Alto, and the East Bay combined. That’s good news for Instacart, as Chicago is its first market outside of the larger San Francisco Bay Area.
Top Image Credit: normanack