Publix is Instacart’s Top Selling Online Grocer

In September 2019, among the top five Instacart grocers, their market share was 37%

Edison
Edison
Oct 7 · 4 min read

Key Takeaways:

  • Kroger online sales orders through Instacart have grown by 86% in the last year
  • In the 20 months before their partnership ended, Whole Foods made up an average of 13% of Instacart’s sales
  • Last March, before Whole Foods stopped its partnership with Instacart, they captured just 6% of Instacart orders
  • Wegmans has taken Whole Foods’ place in the top five Instacart grocers

After Instacart and Whole Foods officially parted ways on May 15, 2019, there were worries that this was the beginning of the end for Instacart’s online grocery delivery momentum. But if the news of the expansion of their partnership with Walmart Canada is any indication, those worries were for naught. In fact, Instacart continues to experience immense growth compared to their competitors. But with the loss of Whole Foods, questions have emerged about how the grocers they partner with have shifted. So naturally, Edison Trends examined how the picture among grocers partnered with Instacart has changed over the last two years to determine which brands are now leading.

Which grocers sell the most orders online via Instacart?

Figure 1: Chart shows estimated Instacart orders by month from the top five grocers from August 1, 2017 to September 30, 2019, according to Edison Trends. Data was scaled so that the highest monthly number of orders was set to 100. This analysis is based on over 50,000 transactions.

The top five brands in terms of Instacart orders over the last 24 months were Publix, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, H-E-B, and Costco. Publix took the lead in May of 2018 and hasn’t looked back; this past September they had 69% more Instacart orders than their next-closest competitor, Costco. Whole Foods, which had been the leader in early 2018, began tapering off its usage of Instacart in 2019, and since June 2019 has had no Instacart orders at all.

How much did losing Whole Foods affect Instacart sales?

Figure 2: Chart shows estimated Instacart orders by month, with and without Whole Foods, from August 1, 2017 to September 30, 2019, according to Edison Trends. Data was scaled so that the highest monthly number of orders was set to 100. This analysis is based on over 50,000 transactions.

Instacart, which had been growing nearly every month for the last two years, saw a decline in orders when their partnership with Whole Foods dissolved. However, the July through September 2019 numbers show that Instacart is on the upswing.

Whole Foods had made up an average 13% of Instacart orders from August 2017 through March 2019. In September 2017, they had been at 21%. In January 2019, before Instacart began pulling their employees out of Whole Foods locations, Whole Foods made up 6% of Instacart orders.

How have each grocer’s orders on Instacart grown year-over-year?

Figure 3a: Chart shows estimated year-over-year growth in Instacart orders among the top five grocers comparing September 2019 to September 2018, according to Edison Trends.

After the acquisition, Amazon’s Whole Foods cut off its partnership with Instacart in May 2019, so unsurprisingly they experienced -100% growth over the last year. Of the remaining top five grocers, Costco has shown the most growth through Instacart, with 99% more orders this past September than in September 2018. Kroger is next with 86% more orders, then Publix and H-E-B with 64% and 15% growth respectively.

Figures 3b & 3c: Charts show estimated market share of Instacart orders from the top grocers compared between September 2018 and September 2019, according to Edison Trends. Due to rounding, numbers may not add up to 100%.

Looking at the top five grocers in September 2018 vs. September 2019, the majority of grocers have seen their shares grow — perhaps due to the loss of Whole Foods, which had received 20% of the orders made at the top five Instacart grocers in September 2018. Publix’s share of the top five has grown from 34% to 37%, Costco has grown from 18% to 24%, and Kroger’s share has also risen from 13% to 16%. The only outlier is H-E-B, which has grown in terms of number of orders but has fallen in terms of market share from 15% to 12%. With Whole Foods’ absence, Wegmans now holds the fifth spot and they are currently tied with H-E-B at 12%.


As the market evolves, we will continue to stay on top of the latest trends. To learn more about how Edison Trends can help your business, contact us at bizdev@edison.tech. For more up-to-date insights in the e-commerce space, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at @EdisonTrends.

*The data shown is based on a sample of anonymized and aggregated e-receipts from millions of consumers in the United States.

Edison

Written by

Edison

Edison Software is a consumer technology company with a mission to create more intelligent products to serve people. www.edison.tech

Edison Discovers

Data stories and insights on the latest national commerce trends. Unlocking intelligence from over 10,000+ brands’ e-receipts and a panel of millions of online shoppers.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade