Instacart’s Impact on America’s Grocery Industry, by the Numbers
As the North American leader in online grocery, Instacart’s many benefits for families and shoppers have been well documented. However, our company’s impact on grocers, grocery workers, and the overall U.S. grocery industry has been more difficult to quantify—until now.
A new study released today by Dr. Robert Kulick of NERA Economic Consulting reveals the uniquely positive impact Instacart has had on the U.S. brick-and-mortar grocery industry and the American economy—both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using rigorous statistical methods and analyzing data from across all 50 states and Washington D.C., the research reveals the relationship between Instacart’s operation in local markets and employment, revenue, and wage growth across the grocery industry.
Here are some of the key numbers to know from the new study:
186,000 net new grocery jobs: Since 2013, Instacart has been directly responsible for creating more than 186,000 grocery jobs across the U.S. grocery industry, from cashiers to bakers to deli workers. That includes 116,000 grocery jobs between 2013 and 2019 (accounting for 70% of net grocery job creation over that period) and a staggering 70,000 grocery jobs during the early months of the pandemic (92% of net grocery jobs added in Q1-Q2 2020).
$6.4 billion incremental grocery revenue: Instacart has helped U.S. brick-and-mortar grocers increase their revenue by $6.4 billion since 2013, according to the study — more than half of which ($3.5 billion) came during the first half of 2020, even as the pandemic was forcing other retails sectors to pull back.
In releasing the study, Dr. Kulick described Instacart as “a catalyst for the U.S. grocery industry both before and during the pandemic,” adding: “This analysis shows that, from its inception, Instacart has driven significant increases in U.S. grocery employment and revenue, and that during the COVID-19 pandemic, these effects became even more pronounced. The ‘Instacart Effect’—the causal relationship between Instacart’s growth and the growth of the grocery industry—is a national phenomenon benefitting retailers, workers, consumers, and local economies.”
Erik Katenkamp, Vice President of Omnichannel for Publix, said: “As our online grocery business has grown, Instacart has helped us better meet our customers’ needs where they are and according to their preferences. We constantly strive to provide stellar service to our customers, which includes high quality products and services. As we continue to evolve our online business to meet the changing expectations of our customers, we know Instacart will continue to provide us with the support and collaboration we, and our customers, have come to expect and enjoy.”
This national study follows a smaller-scale report Dr. Kulick released last year that examined the impact of Instacart in four markets in 2019 – in California, New York, Illinois, and Washington. That analysis similarly showed that Instacart increased U.S. retail grocery employment in those four states by over 23,000 jobs (representing 4 percent growth in employment) and increased revenue by a total of over $620 million.
“Instacart is proud to serve as the leading retail enablement platform for brick-and-mortar grocers across North America. Our job is to ensure retailers can serve their customers online, reach new customers, grow their businesses, and expand the incredibly important impact they make in the communities they serve,” said Carolyn Everson, President of Instacart. “This new study confirms what we hear every day from our retail partners—that Instacart gives them a distinct edge in this new era of accelerated e-commerce adoption and competition. The grocery industry plays such a vital role in all our lives, and we’re committed to continuing to help retailers of all sizes, create jobs, and unlock new growth opportunities for many years to come.”
Click here to read the full study.
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