SAN FRANCISCO, May 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Instacart, the leading grocery technology company in North America, today launched Ask Instacart, a first-of-its-kind AI-powered search tool designed to assist with customers’ grocery shopping questions – saving them time, inspiring their routine, and helping them make food-related decisions by offering personalized recommendations throughout the shopping experience.
By leveraging the language understanding capabilities of OpenAI’s ChatGPT API and Instacart’s own AI models and unique catalog data that spans more than a billion shoppable items across more than 80,000 retail partner locations, Ask Instacart invites customers to ask questions about what to eat and how to make it, helping tackle the age-old daily question: ‘What’s for dinner?’.
Starting to roll out to Instacart customers today and scaling to all U.S. customers over the coming weeks, Ask Instacart is a reimagined yet still familiar search experience directly embedded in the search bar in the Instacart app, providing customers with product recommendations that are intuitively organized, as well as additional useful information about food preparation, product attributes, dietary considerations, and more. The newly enhanced search experience also incorporates personalized question prompts into the search bar that anticipate customer preferences, remind them of their needs based on their shopping history, and inspire them to discover new products.
“A simple question like ‘What’s for dinner?’ is among the most complex for families everywhere to answer. From decisions about budget and dietary specifications to cooking skills, personal preferences, and so much more, Ask Instacart can help customers answer all of their food questions and deliver the ingredients for the perfect meal in as fast as an hour,” said JJ Zhuang, Chief Architect at Instacart. “Whether it’s, “What’s the best fish for tacos?” or “What should I make for a Memorial Day BBQ?,” by supercharging Instacart search with generative AI we can create a truly inspiring experience that unlocks even more opportunities to engage and help customers as they shop online from their favorite retailers.”
With Ask Instacart, customers will be able to:
- Better understand what ingredients or dishes pair well with others, like, “What kind of side dishes should I serve with lamb chops?”
- Discover alternative ingredients that can be swapped for one another, like, “What fish is similar to salmon?”
- Get more information on cooking techniques, like, “What are good sauces for grilling chicken?”
- Generate lists of ingredients if they have a meal in mind, like, “What can I use in a stir fry?”
- Learn more about item attributes so they can get personalized dietary inspiration, like, “What are dairy-free snacks for kids?”
- Discover broader, context-specific inspiration for more open-ended queries, like, “What are the best veggies to roast?”
Further adding to the new experience, Ask Instacart will help match consumer needs – through the questions asked – with brand partners’ sponsored product campaigns, creating an even more convenient way for people to discover new products and access the products they already know and love.
The Ask Instacart launch comes as part of a growing suite of new AI-native initiatives from Instacart that we are working to roll out over the next year and beyond. In March, the company debuted an Instacart plugin for ChatGPT, which lets ChatGPT users express their food needs in natural language, with Instacart’s ability to make those needs instantly shoppable with ingredients delivered to their door in as fast as an hour. Since that launch, the Instacart plugin has been made available to all ChatGPT Plus subscribers, and Instacart has plans to launch additional plugins with Microsoft Bing and Google Bard in the coming months.
At Instacart, we know that generative AI technology is still in its early stages, so Ask Instacart is a highly specialized model designed to only respond to relevant food-related questions. Instacart is committed to incorporating AI features into our products in a responsible manner, with a goal of enhancing the overall Instacart shopping experience and delivering more food inspiration to customers.
Instacart, the leading grocery technology company in North America, works with grocers and retailers to transform how people shop. The company partners with more than 1,200 national, regional, and local retail banners to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 80,000 stores across North America on the Instacart Marketplace. Instacart makes it possible for millions of people to get the groceries they need from the retailers they love, and for approximately 600,000 Instacart shoppers to earn by picking, packing and delivering orders on their own flexible schedule. The Instacart Platform offers retailers a suite of enterprise-grade technology products and services to power their e-commerce experiences, fulfill orders, digitize brick-and-mortar stores, provide advertising services, and glean insights. With Instacart Ads, thousands of CPG brands – from category leaders to emerging brands – partner with the company to connect directly with consumers online, right at the point of purchase. With Instacart Health, the company is providing tools to increase nutrition security, make healthy choices easier for consumers, and expand the role that food can play in improving health outcomes. For more information, visit www.instacart.com/company, and to start shopping, visit www.instacart.com.