Instacart and Whole Foods: A match made in urban techie heaven will eventually win over suburban moms

Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb (left) and Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta (right)
Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb (left) and Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta (right)

Today, Instacart and Whole Foods Market announced a new partnership that expands on the grocery delivery company’s services.

Instacart, which already delivers Whole Foods‘ groceries to users in 15 cities, announced today that it will test an in-store pick up option at select Whole Foods stores in Austin and the Boston area. Eventually, Instacart expects to expand that service to all the cities it operates in.

Whole Foods will be the first national Instacart partner to offer the in-store pickup option.

Instacart allows its users to order groceries online or through its mobile app, and then will deliver within one or two hours ($3.99 for two-hour delivery or $5.99 for one-hour delivery), or at a specified time. The app will save orders so that customers can log back into the site and easily restock groceries. Additionally, the app has a recipe database and other shopping tools to make the selection of products that much easier.

When an order is placed, Instacart’s personal shoppers fill the order and then complete the delivery. The addition of an in-store pickup makes it possible for busy customers, who can’t necessarily be at one place at a specified time, place their order and just pop into the store for pickup.

In addition to Whole Foods, Instacart currently offers delivery for Shaws, Costco, Russo’s in Watertown, and Market Basket, among others, and delivers to a large swath of the Greater Boston area.

Apoorva Mehta, chief executive and founder of Instacart, said in a statement, “Whole Foods Market is our most requested shopping destination, and we’re happy to be working together to create a seamless, quick option for customers with busy lifestyles.”

Co-chief executive of Whole Foods Walter Robb, added, “We are thrilled to add this additional convenience for our customers.”

This is a huge move for Instacart which started as a go-to service for tech savvy urbanites. The added option for in-store pickup is obviously an option built for on-the-run and working parents (or those who are both always-on-the-move and working), which is most of parents these days.

The ability to place a grocery order and not have to wait for a specific delivery time but just pull up to the store and load up the week’s necessities is a service that could become quite popular with many suburban moms and dads.

That the partnership is with Whole Foods is an added enticement for health-conscious parents.

Here is the schedule for the Whole Foods/Instacart pickup service pilot to go into effect:

Piloting now: Charles River Plaza and River Street stores

Pilot starts this Wednesday: Brighton and Newtonville stores

Pilot starts Sept 17: Fresh Pond and Charlestown stores

Dennis Keohane was a Senior Staff Writer for BetaBoston.
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