Building on its ongoing commitment to prioritize diversity, equity and belonging, Instacart announced June 10 a new advertising initiative in which it will commit up to $1 million to amplify Black-owned CPG brands within its marketplace.
Through the new initiative, the online grocery platform will offer eligible brands the opportunity to reach a broader audience with prominent advertising placement among millions of items available from the more than 600 national, regional and local retailers, and unique brand names, featured on the Instacart marketplace.
Brands will also receive credits for Instacart Ads, which currently offers self-service and managed ad services for more than 2,500 CPG brands, to use with the company's flagship Featured Products offering throughout 2021. With Featured Product—premium digital shelf space with browse, discovery and search placements in high-visibility areas across the Instacart marketplace—advertisers can boost sales, increase trial and awareness, drive higher category share and manage campaigns in a self-service portal, Instacart said
"We want Instacart Ads to make a lasting impact on the CPG ecosystem by equipping emerging Black-owned brands with the tools, resources and investment needed to excel in online grocery,” Seth Dallaire, chief revenue officer of Instacart, said in a release. “This is just a first step as we continue to focus on delivering equitable outcomes for historically underrepresented entrepreneurs and brands and create more opportunities for more companies to flourish."
Instacart also said it will establish new resources for brands, including a designated team focused on supporting participating brands and a monthly training series to ensure brands maximize the impact of their advertising campaigns.
Some early partners in the program include A Dozen Cousins, makers of authentic rice and beans; Capital City, a specialty foods manufacturer producing chicken wing sauces; Partake Foods, makers of gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO cookies; and Uncle Nearest, a premium whiskey brand.
"We're always looking for partners that align with our mission to inspire families of all backgrounds to eat better food and live longer, more vibrant lives. It's important for us to connect and engage with customers in various ways—especially in the digital grocery aisles,” said Ibraheem Basir, founder and CEO of A Dozen Cousins.
Arsha Jones, founder of Capital City, added, "Food is an integral part of culture and identity, and part of our mission with Capital City is to share a taste of Washington, D.C., with consumers across America. We're looking forward to partnering with Instacart to broaden our reach and engage with even more people in the digital aisles. We're excited to see this investment to amplify the innovative work Black-owned brands are doing in the CPG food industry."
Lifting up Black businesses within its marketplace is part of Instacart’s commitment to diversity, equity and belonging and standing up against anti-Blackness and systemic racism.
"To create systemic diversity, equity and inclusiveness within the CPG food and beverage space, it's imperative that more companies show this kind of action-oriented support to underrepresented founders. I'm grateful that Instacart is taking this step and hope it inspires even more companies with similar platforms to follow," said Denise Woodard, founder and CEO of Partake Foods.
Fawn Weaver, founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest, added, “It's encouraging to see companies within the grocery industry invest in Black-owned brands at scale. As a founder, I know that it can be extremely costly to start a CPG business, especially in the world of distilling, and initiatives like Instacart's can help reduce systemic barriers to entry for brands to grow new audiences and thrive online. At a company level, Uncle Nearest consistently invests in the entrepreneurial community, and we're looking forward to joining a group of BIPOC-owned brands to reach more people in Instacart's digital aisles."