Sprouts Farmers Markets has begun accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) electronic benefits transfer (EBT) payments for Instacart online grocery orders chainwide.
Phoenix-based Sprouts said all of its 381 supermarkets in 23 states now enable SNAP recipients to order groceries via the Instacart online marketplace and mobile app and use their EBT cards to complete purchases.
Sprouts noted that the new service comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) most recent approval to enable EBT SNAP acceptance online for its stores across the country. The fresh, natural and organic grocer said SNAP EBT functionality is expected to become available for online orders placed through Sprouts.com later this year but didn’t give a timetable.
Under the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, launched by the USDA’s FNS in April 2019, 49 states (except Alaska) and the District of Columbia now allow SNAP beneficiaries to shop and pay for groceries online.
“Sprouts is a leader in making the highest-quality fresh foods accessible to all. Online shopping for delivery and pickup offers our shoppers that accessibility and convenience to fit any lifestyle,” Nick Konat, president and chief operating officer at Sprouts Farmers Market, said in a statement. “Through this expanded partnership with Instacart, we can offer our customers the option to use their SNAP benefits when ordering their fresh and nutritious foods online, allowing them greater convenience, accessibility and affordability.”
To use the EBT online service, Sprouts SNAP customers create an Instacart profile and enter their EBT card information as a form of payment, along with a secondary payment form to cover nonfood items such as taxes, tips and fees. After selecting a nearby Sprouts store, they can then begin adding EBT SNAP-eligible products to their virtual cart. Customers also will be able to designate the amount of SNAP benefits to apply to their order. Orders can be placed for same-day delivery and pickup service.
SNAP EBT acceptance on Instacart is powered by Carrot Payments, part of the Instacart Platform suite of enterprise-grade e-commerce solutions. Including Sprouts, Instacart now powers SNAP EBT payments for more than 60 retailers in 39 states and the District of Columbia, encompassing more than 7,000 stores nationwide. San Francisco-based Instacart reported that more than half of all federally approved retailers accept SNAP EBT online through its platform, serving more than 25 million people experiencing food insecurity.
“Instacart and Sprouts have a shared mission of providing people with greater access to fresh food. Today, we’re proud to expand our partnership with Sprouts to allow more people to order nutritious foods and pantry staples online with EBT SNAP acceptance through Carrot Payments and Instacart Platform,” said Sarah Mastrorocco, Vice President of Access to Food & Nutrition at Instacart. “Online grocery shopping shouldn’t be a luxury, and our goal is to make same-day delivery and pickup affordable for everyone. Through our deepened partnership with Sprouts, we’re helping to make the grocer’s expansive selection of fresh, natural and organic foods available to more families across the country.”
Sprouts announced its partnership with Instacart in January 2018, starting with same-day delivery in select ZIP codes in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. In May 2018, the chain discontinued Amazon Prime Now delivery service, which had been available through 17 stores. A bigger rollout of Instacart delivery came in March 2019, later leading to chainwide availability. Instacart Pickup made its debut at Sprouts stores in 2018 in selected markets before going chainwide in 2020.