Instacart Puts Groceries and Health Care into One Basket

Instacart Puts Groceries and Health Care into One Basket. A physician in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around his neck holds a small metal shopping cart.

Instacart, the nation’s largest online grocery delivery service, is stepping up its game in health care. The company recently rolled out a slew of initiatives aimed at improving access to nutritious foods and transforming efforts to address food insecurity. Branded Instacart Health, the division will focus on three areas:

Increase Nutrition Security

The company will expand online access to the electronic benefits transfer system that allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants to pay for food with SNAP benefits and to recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families assistance.

Treat Food Like Medicine

Instacart is partnering with health care providers and stakeholders who believe that integrated food and nutrition is an essential component of disease treatment and prevention. The company’s Fresh Funds program gives nonprofits, insurers and employers a way to provide money for nutritious foods. It will also launch Care Carts, a service that allows providers and caregivers to place grocery orders on behalf of a patient or family member.

Make Healthier Food Choices Easier

With Health Tags, Instacart customers now can view as many as 23 item-level labels like low-salt, low-sugar, keto, gluten-free, etc., while they shop online. The company also is partnering with Hearst Magazines, which publishes Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Prevention, to expand Instacart’s collection of more than 3,000 healthful recipes.

In May, Instacart filed a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation of taking the company public. The company grew during the pandemic as consumers often sheltered in place to avoid infection, but this past March cut its valuation from about $39 billion to $24 billion.

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