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Instacart Makes a Progressive Move in Pricing

The grocery delivery service just made its premium service more affordable for those in need.

Grocery delivery service Instacart has revolutionized the way households get their groceries. Since its start in the summer of 2012, the service was on the forefront of the "we'll bring it to you" market, quickly followed by Uber's  (UBER) - Get Free Report food delivery service Uber Eats and its competitor DoorDash  (DASH) - Get Free Report

The convenience of having groceries delivered was a newly-available luxury that made the service very popular. But for people with disabilities or folks working multiple jobs to keep the lights on, the service was a real game changer -- if they could afford it.

Instacart's model was based on service fees, and in later years, the company began offering a monthly fee for Instacart+. The premium service would give customers access to free delivery on orders over $35, 5% credit back on pickup orders, and reduced service fees. For those relying on delivery to keep the pantry stocked, Instacart+ proved to be a real savings boon, pricing in at $9.99/month or $99/year.

Still, it's not always easy to tack on another recurring monthly fee or scratch together an extra $100 when you're struggling with economic uncertainty. Now, Instacart has a new offer that could help get more groceries to more people who need them at a lower cost.

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Instacart+ Discounts Membership for EBT SNAP Participants

Instacart is now offering discounted monthly and annual rates for folks using Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) benefits. 

Instacart first started pairing with grocery stores to accept EBT SNAP payments for same-day delivery and pickup orders in November 2020. Since then, the company has partnered with over 40 retailers to make the benefits easier and more accessible to participants.

Discounted membership rates apply to shoppers who have used their EBT SNAP cards to purchase groceries with Instacart in the last six months. Customers will be able to use Instacart+ for just $4.99/month for 12 months. For those who qualify, this is a nearly 50% discount on the service.

The Company Looks to Grow Instacart Health

The change is a part of the company's initiative to make healthy food choices more accessible to its customers. Instacart Health is the platform's new resource for customers and medical professionals alike, allowing customers to create collaborative shopping lists with their physicians or nutritionists. 

Instacart Health also includes specially curated carts from health experts and influencers. Customers who use the service can also access health tags for various dietary needs, making it easier to shop for products that are gluten-free, low-salt, and more.

The platform also includes Fresh Funds, which allows employers, non-profits, and insurance companies to give people funds to buy food through Instacart. It is limited to certain food categories, though. It also includes more options that would allow caretakers to order food and sundry items on behalf of someone else.

If 2020's covid lockdown taught us anything, it's that the availability of delivery services is a huge step forward in accessibility. Instacart's most recent move further aligns it with that cause, putting more food on more tables for those who need it.