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5 things
Instacart’s big push.png

5 things: Instacart’s big push

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

A ‘smart’ move: On Wednesday, Instacart announced a ramped up partnership with The Save Mart Companies, California’s largest regional grocer, which operates nearly 200 stores. The retailer, which includes the brands Save Mart, FoodMaxx and Lucky, is adding Instacart’s suite of in-store grocery tech to various locations. This push is all part of Instacart’s strategy to expand beyond grocery delivery by convincing retailers that they need its technology and advertising. The San Francisco-based platform first bought smart cart startup Caper AI in 2021 for $350 million. A number of retailers have already signed on for the carts, including Kroger, Fairway Market, Geissler’s, ShopRite and Schnucks, with thousands expected to be deployed by the end of 2024. In January, Instacart said it would display advertisements on its smart carts as part of its growing ads business — which brought in $871 million in 2023, nearly 30% of its overall revenue. —Chloe Riley

The cat in the … box? A cat in Utah burned through several of its nine lives last month, when it took an unexpected trip via Amazon. Galena the cat’s odyssey wasn’t through the rainforest of South America, though, but rather through the mail. The feline went missing on April 10, according to a Facebook post from confused cat mom Carrie Clark. Clark only realized what had happened after someone scanned her microchip, and she had turned up in Southern California. Any cat owner will tell you that their pet loves jumping into boxes, but Galena had hopped into a package being shipped to Amazon and then spent six days in transit. An Amazon worker discovered the cat and alerted Clark and her family. “Her bloodwork was completely normal! Despite being skinnier she is completely unharmed,” Clark wrote on Facebook. —Tim Inklebarger

A DIY smart cart: With a Costco hot dog in one hand, a soda in the other, and a smartphone under the arm, how on Earth do you expect anyone to steer and push a shopping cart? This is how. A poster on Reddit recently shared a video of a DIY hot dog-soda-cell phone holder, and it is perhaps the greatest thing since sliced hot dog buns. All you need to create this cart extraordinaire is some plywood, a pool noodle, some wood glue and paint (we make our hot dog-soda-cell phone holders look good, we are not savages). It looks like it takes about an hour to make a lifetime of pleasure at your local Costco. When complete, it just slips on to a cart of your choosing and off you go to a day full of wiener consumption and buying food in bulk while watching TikTok videos (yes, the smartphone is actually propped up for viewing). This inventor might think he’s hot stuff and all but just where does he expect me to hold my Costco double chocolate chunk cookie? Back to the drawing board, genius. —BW

Snoop Dogg’s next episode: Hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg has yet another product endorsement deal — this time with ice cream manufacturer Dr. Bombay. The Southern California rapper’s new line features flavors such as Syrupy Waffle Sundaze, Iced Out Orange Cream, and S’more Vibes, according to an article in food website The Kitchn [sp]. The new line of ice cream was launched on April 19, presumably so Snoop Dogg fans could enjoy the treat the following day on 4/20. If you don’t get the reference, look it up — and get with the times. While the ice cream doesn’t feature a photo of the musician, it does note “Death Row Records Presents” on the lid. The record label released Snoop’s first records, and the multimillionaire rapper purchased the label in 2022. —TI

Cock-a-doodle…don’t? You’ve never seen a rooster standing in front of a Dollar General before? Well, you just haven’t been going to the right store! Fred the Rooster is the unofficial mascot of one Dollar General store, which has posted a sign introducing him to shoppers. It reads: “There is nothing we can do about Fred (the rooster). He does not belong to anyone who works here, but we enjoy his company.” And, though he is apparently harmless, as the note points out, he is not allowed in the store and employees often have to chase him away. Fred appears to be not taking the hint, as he is usually seen hanging out in front of the automatic sliding doors. Does this mean he’s the store’s official alarm clock as well? —Bill Wilson

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