Q&A: Instacart Exec Talks Ad Initiative for Women

Ali Miller explains how the company amplifies the voices of underrepresented groups.
Instacart Ads Initiative

Grocery delivery platform Instacart has extended its support of underrepresented groups with a $1 million commitment to amplify women-owned CPG brands.

To celebrate and honor Women’s History Month in March, the company launched the second wave of its Instacart Ads Initiative with partners Sweet Loren’s, Three Wishes Cereal and Twrl Milk Tea. Eligible brands will receive free Instacart Ads credits starting in April to use with the organization’s flagship sponsored product offering. 

Ali Miller, head of ads product at Instacart, answered a few questions about the initiative and its purpose.

P2PIQ:How has the digital aisle evolved over the past few years since the pandemic?

Ali Miller: More and more people are now leveraging a mix of online and offline channels to do their grocery shopping. For CPG brands of all sizes, the digital aisles offer a new, more adaptable opportunity to engage with consumers. Online grocery allows for innovation, including new kinds of advertising solutions that help brands engage consumers and storytell directly at the point of purchase. 

As more people turn to Instacart to shop from their favorite retailers and discover new items, we’re focused on creating unique ways to support brands looking to get discovered by introducing exciting products, engaging consumers and landing in baskets. 

P2PIQ: What do you hope consumers will gain from being introduced and connected to these female-led brands?

Miller: Part of our goal with our Instacart Ads Initiative is to democratize the grocery store by offering emerging brands a meaningful boost via advertising to connect with consumers directly at the point of purchase. The women-owned brands that are a part of our Ads Initiative will be able to surface their products across the Instacart Marketplace with our sponsored product offering. 

Our hope is that consumers will be able to discover new products and brands that fill their needs or become household favorites, and find inspiration to create a new recipe or send a treat to a loved one after being introduced to these women-owned brands across Instacart.

P2PIQ: Can you give us an update on the Instacart Ads initiative for Black-owned brands?

Miller: We first launched the Instacart Ads Initiative last year, committing up to $1 million to amplify emerging Black-owned CPG brands within the Instacart Marketplace. Our focus on Black-owned brands continues into this year, and brands are welcome to sign up on a rolling basis. We continue to support participating brands with campaign setup at launch, and access to our self-service ads platform. 

To date, our partners in the initiative have seen meaningful growth. One partner saw their weekly sales and basket penetration more than double as a result of their sponsored product campaign via the initiative. Participating brands are based in states such as California, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. We’re so proud of our progress, but there’s much more work to do on this front.

P2PIQ: Do you foresee the Instacart Ads Initiative expanding again in the future to support more underrepresented groups?

Miller: That’s the goal. We want Instacart Ads to have a lasting impact on the CPG ecosystem by equipping emerging brands with the tools, resources and investment needed to excel in online grocery. I’m really excited about the opportunity ahead of us to continue amplifying and empowering brand owners from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

P2PIQ:How long will the Instacart Ads Initiative for women-owned brands run?

Miller: The Ads Initiative for women-owned brands will run until the end of the year. Eligible brands are welcome to sign up on a rolling basis throughout. Women-owned brands can sign up at Ads.Instacart.com.

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