Good Alternatives To Instacart For Grocery Delivery

Instacart is a grocery delivery service that is based in San Francisco, CA. It serves throughout the US and Canada, with a personal shopper doing the shopping for the customers. Apoorva Mehta, an ex-employee of Amazon, established Instacart in 2012. The concept was so successful and profitable that Mehta was featured in the “Forbes 30 under 30” list just a year later. Who doesn’t want to relax or watch TV without having to rush to the grocer’s when the supply runs out!

HeadquartersSan Francisco, CA, US
SIC Code7299
StatusPrivate, Independent Company of Maplebear
Industry SectorRetail
Trading SymbolN/A

Instacart employees have often had problems with the operations of the company over the years. However, their internal struggles never affected the quality of service provided. In the first few years, they had managed to make a decent profit. But their revenue well and truly skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instacart’s customers grew rapidly by the day, so much so that they had to hire 300,000 new workers to meet the rising demand. Their revenue is currently around $1.5 billion.

Instacart Similar Companies:

DoorDash ($4.89B), Shipt ($1B), FreshDirect ($600M), Thrive Market ($179M), Peapod ($187M).

Who is Instacart’s Biggest Competitor?

The biggest competitor of Instacart is DoorDash. Though it is primarily a food delivery service, it also delivers fresh groceries. And DoorDash is a giant in the food delivery industry. Founded in 2013, it was initially based in Palo Alto, CA, before shifting its headquarters to San Francisco. Apart from serving the whole of the US and Canada, it is also active in Australia and Japan. Tony Xu is its current CEO, and Christopher Payne is its president.

How Instacart makes Money

Instacart has an efficiently working revenue model that underwent a few changes over the years. When you place an order on their website or app, a personal shopper is assigned to fulfill that order. The shopper not only picks the right items but also packs and delivers those to your doorstep. Instacart makes money through delivery fees that range from $3.99 to $7.99, depending on the order amount. Additionally, they charge a 5% service fee with a $2 minimum. Their membership subscriptions also add to their revenue.

Retail / Delivery

The retail industry is one of the biggest ones out there. And delivery forms a critical part of it, especially in this pandemic time. However, you need a keen eye for choosing and picking the right kind of groceries. That is where Instacart comes into the picture. The company hires excellent personal shoppers, most experienced in buying groceries. They are not only talented enough in picking out the right groceries, but also efficient in packing and delivering within the agreed-upon timeframe.


DoorDash is the largest food delivery service in the US. Apart from delivering food from your chosen restaurant, they also deliver groceries. The company wins against Instacart in most areas – it is highly efficient, offers a wider range of services, and has much higher revenue ($4.89 billion) – except probably one. Unlike Instacart, DoorDash doesn’t have any dedicated personal shoppers to pick the freshest, perfect groceries for you!

Food Delivery

Similar to Instacart, DoorDash doesn’t retail groceries. It simply delivers those from the grocer to the customer. It charges delivery fees depending on the distance covered by the deliverer. Despite primarily being a restaurant food delivery app, a noticeable part of its revenue comes from grocery delivery as well. The company owns three other brands unrelated to groceries, namely Wolt, Caviar, and Chowbotics.


Shipt is a delivery service that mainly deals in groceries. It was established in 2014 by Bill Smith, who funded it out of his own pocket. Initially present only in Birmingham, AL, where its headquarters lie to this day, it rapidly spread its operations to other parts of the state. In 2017, Target Corporation acquired the company for about $550 million. Since then, its operations have become even more efficient. Shipt is presently run by Kelly Caruso as its CEO.

Retail / Delivery

Shipt delivers various products from different retailers to its customers. You need to place an order either on their website or on the smartphone app available on both Android and iOS. One of their deliverers will then visit the outlet, pick out your desired items, and deliver those, neatly packed, to your doorstep. Grocery delivery forms a major part of Shipt’s billion-dollar revenue, but it also delivers office supplies, alcohol, and other items.


FreshDirect is an online grocery store that is active in many parts of the US. Founded in 1999 by Joe Fedele and Jason Ackerman, it is one of the earliest such stores in the country but the only one that saw eventual success. After growing into a regional phenomenon, it was finally acquired by Ahold Delhaize and Centerbridge Partners in 2020. Today, most of its $600 million revenue stems from New York.

Online Grocery

Unlike the other competitors on this list, including Instacart, FreshDirect delivers groceries to customers from their own warehouse. They buy directly from nearby, well-tended farms. You simply have to place an order on their smartphone app or website, and a neatly packed parcel will land on your doorstep in no time. FreshDirect also delivers pre-proportioned meals.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market is different from the companies on this list in the sense that it delivers only organic products, that too on a subscription basis. It is one of the most health-conscious food delivery firms in the market. Founded in 2014 by Nick Green, Gunnar Lovelace, Sasha Siddhartha, and Kate Mulling Thrive barely survived in the initial stages until it was saved by individual investors. The company is currently based in Los Angeles, CA.


Did you know that Will Smith and Demi Moore are among Thrive’s many investors? People have started embracing organic produce only recently, but back then, it was quite a struggle. Nonetheless, Thrive Market fought on and thrived to eventually emerge victoriously. Its growing revenue of $179 million supports this fact.


Peapod Digital Labs kicked off its online grocery services in 1989 as Peapod Online Grocer. Two brothers, Andrew and Thomas Parkinson launched the service in an effort to provide convenient access to groceries for consumers. Its headquarters previously lay in Skokie, IL before they shifted to Chicago. The company is currently owned by Ahold Delhaize.

Online Grocer

Peapod connects with local grocery producers to supply the desired product to the consumers. It started its official website as early as 1996, and its smartphone app for Android and iOS was launched in 2012. It usually delivers groceries on the same day itself. With over 575 employees, its revenue currently stands at $187 million.


Top 5 Instacart Competitors: DoorDash, Shipt, FreshDirect, Thrive Market, Peapod. All these companies generate combined revenue of nearly $8.4 billion. They have a total employee base of around 21,175. When it comes to delivering only groceries quickly and efficiently, there is no one ahead of Instacart.

Competitor’s Stats:

DoorDash2013San Francisco, CA, US6000
Shipt2014Birmingham, AL, US1100
FreshDirect1999New York, NY, US3000
Thrive Market2014Los Angeles, CA, US500
Peapod1989Chicago, IL, US575

Instacart Competitor Crossword

Content from this and other articles on this website can be used as a crossword clue

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *