File under: reasons to never leave the house. Instacart -- the app that delivers same-day groceries to your door from shops like Whole Foods, Safeway, and Costco -- has just added everyone's favorite organic, worker-owned grocery store, Rainbow, to its roster. Now you can click a button and access all your favorite bulk products like grains, legumes, oils, flours, cereals, teas, coffees, nuts, seeds, etc., along with the grocery's organic produce, excellent cheese selection, whole-grain and gluten-free breads, affordable and well-curated wine and beer, eco-friendly house cleaners, and more (no missing-bag-shaming involved!).
This is a coup of sorts for Instacart, which is competing in the increasingly dense online grocery delivery space. S.F.'s delivery market for local goods has been dominated by Good Eggs, the online aggregator of dozens of small farms and food producers. The innovative Local Mission Market built in delivery to the Mission when it opened last fall, and also recently started its selling its pantry staples and ready-to-eat foods through Good Eggs. And AmazonFresh moved into the Bay Area in December, and though it only has a thin veneer of local products, it also has the deep pockets to attempt to make it in the tricky grocery delivery business.
Rainbow's Paul Knowles explained the rationale behind the partnership to SFist:
"Partnering with Instacart enables Rainbow Grocery Cooperative to offer customers the convenience of professional-quality delivery while allowing us to focus on what we do best: providing San Francisco with the best-priced, finest selection of health food and healthy living options under one cooperatively run, worker-owned roof."
Unlike Good Eggs, which acts as a de facto grocery store as it uses a proprietary algorithm to aggregate and deliver the day's orders, Instacart sends a human to the store with your shopping list after you've submitted it, making it more like Postmates, Taskrabbit, or even Lyft. Still, if you can get over the idea of strangers shopping for you, the app can be a powerful ally to those with busy schedules. Now all the company has to do is offer to do our Bi-Rite shopping for us and we might never have cause to shop for our own groceries again.