Instabuggy to deliver prepared meals

The grocery delivery service is adding ready-to-eat meal delivery in as little as one hour.
Instabuggy Prepared Foods

Feeling hungry but don’t have time to cook? Toronto-based grocery delivery service Instabuggy will send a hand-prepared meal right to your door.

By partnering with Summerhill Market, an upscale independent grocer in Toronto known for its prepared meals cooked by in-house chefs, Instabuggy customers can choose from a selection of freshly-made meals to be delivered to their homes or workplaces, either individually or as part of their regular grocery order.

Julian Gleizer, founder of Instabuggy, says adding prepared meals to its regular grocery delivery service further differentiates Instabuggy from other services and companies like Blue Apron, which provides the ingredients for consumers to make meals themselves. He adds that it also serves health-conscious consumers who may be reluctant to order traditional delivery.

“We’ve seen models that deliver portions that can be combined into a meal, but you still have to stand there and take an hour to cook it,” Gleizer says. “A lot of customers don’t always have time for that, so there’s a lot of interest in prepared meals.”

Convenience has been one of Instabuggy’s building blocks, allowing customers to have their orders delivered in as little as one hour, whereas other services only deliver on certain days or during certain windows of time, during which they need to be home to receive the order.

Instabuggy is already partnered with large grocers like FreshCo (and will soon be adding Sobey’s Urban Fresh to its offering) as well as independent stores like Summerhill Market and Coppa’s. Initially focused on urban Toronto when it launched last year, the service now serves the entire GTA, and will add Mississauga to its service area next week, with Ottawa being added in the coming months.

Grocers have been jumping on the online-delivery trend in full force in recent years, with players including Walmart and Loblaws jumping into the space. In Quebec, IGA has been offering the service for years, and it too has recently turned its attention to offering prepared meals. In previous interviews, Carol Wong-Li, senior lifestyle and leisure analyst at Mintel, said while consumers overwhelmingly still want to visit grocery stores, there are huge opportunities for grocery retailers who chase occasion-based shops.

For example, there’s a high demand across all channels to make dinner planning easier, she said. For busy families, any form of retail that can solve that annoyance would be well poised to succeed.

From the brand side, Gleizer says the benefit of partnering with a service like Instabuggy is the data its service provides, giving stores and brands insights on what is selling. The Instabuggy app can also serve notifications to users on products and brands they frequently buy, such as when there is a sale or promotion.

“It goes back to knowing your customer and optimizing your supply chain,” Gleizer says. “But CPGs now are coming to us as well, wanting to get promoted within the service. Any way a brand can promote themselves instead of just having to be chosen on the shelf is always going to be attractive.”