Grocery delivery service set to launch in Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Grocery delivery service set to launch in Nevada County

Just about anyone who makes sure there's food on the table every day has faced this dilemma.

Shopping for those groceries takes time. And energy.

And sometimes there's just not enough time in the day to make it to the store. Or maybe you're down with the flu, or your kids are down with the flu, or you're disabled in a way that makes it painful to negotiate that particular chore.

Shopping for groceries can be a huge time sink, given that the average shopper in the U.S. shops for groceries more than once a week and spends an average of 45 minutes doing so, not including time spent getting to and from the store.

So it's no surprise that grocery delivery services have become so popular. The Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen estimate nearly half of Americans now buy their groceries online, and that number is expected to increase to 70 percent by 2022.

Such services have been around for years, but have not been readily available in more rural counties like Nevada County — until now.

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Starting this week, local shoppers will be able to order groceries online and have them delivered to their door.

Retail delivery service Instacart announced Friday it is expanding into the Nevada County area, promising delivery from Timbuctoo to You Bet and beyond.

Residents will be able to order from local retailers including Safeway and CVS Pharmacy, and have their groceries and every-day essentials (even alcohol) delivered to their doorsteps in as little as one hour.

Instacart will serve seven ZIP codes in the area, including 95713, 95945, 95946, 95949, 95959, 95975, 95977, its release stated.

Founded in San Francisco in 2012, Instacart has quickly scaled to more than 280 markets and partnered with retailers across North America, including popular national chains as well as local, regional grocers. Instacart was valued at $4.2 billion earlier this year.

"Over the past year we've seen incredible demand in the Grass Valley area," said Michelle McCrae, general manager at Instacart, in a press release. "Launching in Grass Valley gives us an opportunity to expand service in California. We're also excited to build a world-class shopper community, where we can offer fun and flexible income earning opportunities for our shoppers, who ultimately deliver this amazing service to the community."

According to the press release, Instacart is also bringing income-earning opportunities to the area with plans to sign up more than 100 new shoppers.

Customers shop by going online to http://www.Instacart.com or by opening the Instacart mobile app on an iPhone or Android cell phone. They select their city/store, add items to a virtual cart, then choose a delivery window (within one hour, within two hours, or up to five days in advance) and check out. An Instacart shopper accepts the order, uses the Instacart shopper app to guide them through shopping, and then delivers the order to the customer in the designated delivery time frame.

All orders must be $10 or more. For orders of $35 or more, the delivery fee is $5.99. An Instacart Express membership offers unlimited, free same-day delivery on orders of $35 or more, for $14.99 a month or $149 a year.

There are other charges to consider, however. Instacart charges a service fee that is 5 percent of the subtotal of the items in your order, a minimum of $2 per individual store delivery. If you have ordered alcohol, there is an additional service fee of $2-10, depending on the total price.

And by default, a 5 percent tip is suggested at checkout, with a minimum suggestion of $2 per individual store delivery. So, as an example, if you ordered $100 worth of groceries, of which $30 was alcohol, your additional costs would be $6 for delivery, a $5.50 service fee plus another $5 for tip — so $116.50 total.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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