Online grocery ordering, delivery booming in Indy

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Online grocery ordering and delivery is taking off in Indianapolis, and it’s bringing jobs with it.

Instacart is the newest delivery service to launch in Indy. The delivery market is growing so quickly here, Instacart expanded to Fishers within just about three weeks of its launch.

24-Hour News 8 followed one of Instacart’s 100 personal shoppers as he shopped at the Whole Foods oh 86th Street.

“I’m able to I can pick any hours that I want to work,” said personal shopper, Brian.

Customers can go online or to the app, pick a grocery store and then create a shopping list that pops up on the personal shopper’s phone.

“There’s stay at home moms with young children, you see some elderly. I’ve had people that are just out of the hospital,” said Brian.

Shoppers can schedule the delivery or order for immediate delivery. Depending on location, it could be to the customer’s home within an hour.

“I think the idea is providing a choice to our customers, a more convenient choice. Not all of our customers have convenient access to the store,” said Greg Sumski with Whole Foods Market.

Personal shoppers can text or call customers with any questions or modifications.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to sit at your computer, order what you want and have someone show up at the door an hour later,” said Brian.

Some services work on fees, others subscriptions. Instacart has a base fee of $3.99, with most groceries at the in-store price. For $99 a year, Express members can waive the fees and just tip the driver.

It’s a pay-off Abigail Grant says it worth it, to keep her kids at home.

“I was spending an hour or two hours at the grocery store for one week and you know that’s two hours a week, that really adds up,” said Grant.

A retail report estimates online grocery shopping will make up 11 percent of US grocery spending in 2023. That’s up from 2013. Grant said she never wants to go back to traditional shopping.

“I have so many apps that I use to have things delivered — Etsy or Amazon, Instacart, I love the fact that everything now is so convenient and they come to you,” said Grant.

Indianapolis is near the front of the online shopping and delivery trend.

Natural and organic food delivery service, Green Bean, says Indianapolis is its strongest market, with about half of its 200 employees based here. PeaPod makes 1,500 Indianapolis deliveries every week and is opening a local warehouse to bring its 15 full-time employees to nearly 240.

“We have been delivering to our Indianapolis customers for five years now; they are especially important to us, which is why we are developing a 50,000 square foot warehouse to better serve the Indy market,” said Carrie Bienkowski, Peapod CMO. “We will be offering more delivery windows to continue to bring convenience and value to our Indy customers.”

Every delivery service works differently. Green Bean delivers once a week, with its own products from its warehouses and farms. You can get fresh groceries the next day through PeaPod.  Google Express delivers dry food here. There will likely be other competitors coming to the mix.  Amazon Fresh delivers fresh food on the coasts and has some big expansion plans.

“I could honestly probably not leave my house ever and have everything delivered especially now that it’s good, quality food,” said Grant.

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