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Instacart gets grocers into made-to-order meal space

Grocery delivery and pick-up service is partnering with Publix to pilot the latest feature of its growing app

Instacart has introduced a service that allows customers to purchase made-to-order food items alongside their groceries and household essentials.

Called Instacart Meals, the service allows grocers to bring more in-store experiences online, and offers customers the convenience of ordering custom-made meals at the same time as their pantry staples that can be picked up at store or delivered to their home.

The service kicks off with a partnership between Instacart and U.S. supermarket chain Publix, on what the companies are calling a "digital deli counter." Through Instacart Meals, customers can build their own subs by choosing from a selection of breads, meats, cheeses, vegetables and condiments.

When customers add a made-to-order meal to their cart, the Instacart Meals product automatically offers combo options and discounts, enabling customers to capitalize on deals and savings just as they would in-store.

Instacart recently said click and collect would be a priority in 2020 and introduced features to make it easier for customers to pick up their orders. It announced plans to expand Instacart Pickup to stores in all 50 states, and appointed Sarah Mastrorocco to the newly-created role of general manager, Instacart Pickup, to grow the service.

The company already powers pickup for more than 50 grocery partners across more than 30 states and parts of Canada.

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