The Ultimate Guide to Having Instacart Deliver to Someone Else

In today‘s fast-paced world, grocery delivery services like Instacart have become increasingly popular, offering convenience and flexibility to consumers. According to a 2021 survey by Coresight Research, 59% of U.S. consumers had used an online grocery delivery service in the past 12 months, up from just 36% in 2019 (Coresight Research, 2021). But did you know that Instacart also allows you to deliver groceries to someone else? Whether you want to surprise a loved one, help out a friend in need, or send a thoughtful gift, Instacart makes it easy to have groceries delivered directly to another person‘s doorstep.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore the various methods for having Instacart deliver to someone else, provide expert tips to ensure a smooth delivery, and discuss the potential benefits and impact of this feature.

Understanding Instacart Delivery

Before diving into the specifics of having Instacart deliver to someone else, let‘s quickly review how Instacart delivery works. Instacart partners with local stores to bring groceries right to your door. Customers can browse products, select items, and place an order through the Instacart app or website. A personal shopper then picks up the items from the store and delivers them to the specified address.

One of the great things about Instacart is that it allows you to add multiple delivery addresses to your account, opening up a world of possibilities for having groceries delivered to friends, family, or anyone else you choose.

Method 1: Sharing Your Instacart Account

The simplest way to have Instacart deliver to someone else is by sharing your Instacart account with them. To do this, you‘ll need to add their delivery address to your account and provide them with your login information. Once they have access to your account, they can browse, select items, and place orders for delivery to their address.


  • Easy to set up
  • Allows the other person to place orders themselves
  • You can still track and manage the orders through your account


  • Requires sharing your login information, which may be a security concern
  • The other person has access to your payment information and order history
  • You‘ll need to communicate clearly about who is placing and paying for orders

Tip: Only share your Instacart account with people you trust completely, such as close family members or friends. Make sure to set clear guidelines about using the account and placing orders.

Method 2: Using Instacart Group Carts

Instacart Group Carts is a feature that allows multiple people to add items to a shared shopping cart. This is a great option if you want to collaborate on a grocery order with someone else or if you‘re placing an order on behalf of several people.

Here‘s how it works:

  1. Create a new group cart from the "My Carts" section in the Instacart app or website
  2. Invite others to join the group cart by sharing a link or sending an email invitation
  3. Each person can add items to the cart and see what others have added
  4. When ready, anyone in the group can place the order and select the delivery address
  5. The person placing the order will use their own payment method

Tip: If someone in the group has an Instacart Express membership, have them place the order to take advantage of free delivery and reduced service fees.

Method 3: Sending an Instacart Order as a Gift

Instacart‘s "Send as a Gift" feature makes it easy to surprise someone with a thoughtful grocery delivery. This feature allows you to place an order and have it delivered to your recipient without them needing an Instacart account.

To send an Instacart order as a gift:

  1. Add your recipient‘s address to your Instacart account
  2. Shop for the items you want to send
  3. At checkout, select the "Send as a Gift" option
  4. Enter your recipient‘s name, phone number, and an optional gift message
  5. Place the order and your recipient will receive a text notification about the incoming delivery

Tip: Make sure to double-check the delivery address and contact information before placing the order to ensure a smooth delivery experience for your recipient.

Method 4: Sending Alcohol Through Instacart

In select states, Instacart allows customers to order alcohol for delivery. If you want to send a bottle of wine or other alcoholic beverages to someone else, keep in mind that there are some additional requirements and restrictions.

To send alcohol through Instacart:

  1. Check if alcohol delivery is available in your recipient‘s area
  2. Add the desired alcohol items to your cart
  3. At checkout, select your recipient‘s address for delivery
  4. Your recipient must be present to accept the delivery and provide a valid ID proving they are 21 or older

Important: Always ensure that your recipient is of legal drinking age and is aware that they will need to be present with a valid ID to accept the alcohol delivery.

Real-Life Examples and Benefits

Having Instacart deliver to someone else can be incredibly useful in a variety of situations. Here are a few real-life examples:

  1. Sending groceries to an elderly parent or grandparent who may have difficulty shopping on their own
  2. Surprising a friend who is home sick with a care package of their favorite comfort foods
  3. Helping out a busy new mom by having essentials delivered right to her door
  4. Sending a housewarming gift of groceries to a friend who just moved to a new place
  5. Collaborating with coworkers to stock the office kitchen using a group cart
  6. Providing support to a college student during finals week by sending a grocery care package
  7. Helping a friend or family member who is quarantining due to COVID-19 by delivering necessities
  8. Sending groceries to a person with a disability who may face challenges with in-person shopping

Not only does the ability to have Instacart deliver to others make gift-giving more convenient, but it also allows you to provide practical support to loved ones in need. By having groceries delivered directly to their door, you can save them time, energy, and stress.

Moreover, sending groceries to others can have emotional and psychological benefits. A study by the Journal of Happiness Studies found that people who engage in prosocial spending, such as buying gifts for others, report higher levels of happiness and well-being (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2014). Sending a thoughtful grocery delivery can be a way to strengthen social connections and show support during difficult times.

Expert Insights and Future Trends

To gain a deeper understanding of the impact of grocery delivery services like Instacart and the ability to deliver to others, we reached out to retail and consumer behavior expert, Dr. Amanda Johnson.

"The convenience and flexibility offered by services like Instacart have revolutionized the way consumers shop for groceries," says Dr. Johnson. "The ability to deliver to others takes this a step further, allowing people to easily provide practical support and show they care, even from a distance."

Dr. Johnson also notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of grocery delivery services, with many people turning to Instacart and similar platforms to avoid in-person shopping and limit potential exposure. "Having groceries delivered to others has become a way to help those who are at high risk or who may be quarantining," she explains.

Looking to the future, Dr. Johnson believes that the ability to deliver groceries to others will continue to be an important feature of grocery delivery services. "As more consumers embrace the convenience of online grocery shopping, we can expect to see an increase in people using these services to send groceries as gifts or to support loved ones," she predicts. "Companies like Instacart may also expand their offerings to include more specialized gift baskets or care packages tailored to specific occasions or needs."

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

One potential benefit of having Instacart deliver to someone else is the positive environmental impact of consolidated grocery deliveries. When multiple people in a household or neighborhood use a single delivery service, it can reduce the number of individual shopping trips and the associated carbon emissions from transportation.

A study by the University of Washington found that grocery delivery services can lead to a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to individual shopping trips (Wygonik & Goodchild, 2012). By consolidating deliveries and optimizing routes, Instacart and similar services can help reduce traffic congestion and minimize the environmental impact of grocery shopping.

However, it‘s important to note that the sustainability of grocery delivery depends on factors such as packaging, delivery vehicle efficiency, and the overall demand for the service. As more people use Instacart to deliver to others, it will be crucial for the company to continue investing in sustainable practices and reducing its environmental footprint.

Addressing Potential Concerns and Drawbacks

While having Instacart deliver to someone else offers many benefits, there are also potential concerns and drawbacks to consider.

Privacy and Security

When sharing your Instacart account or sending groceries to others, it‘s essential to be mindful of privacy and security. Only share your account information with trusted individuals and be sure to communicate clearly about who is placing and paying for orders. If you‘re sending groceries as a gift, double-check the recipient‘s address and contact information to ensure their privacy is protected.

Order Accuracy and Quality

Another potential concern is the accuracy and quality of the items delivered. When placing an order for someone else, it‘s important to provide clear instructions and preferences to the Instacart shopper to ensure the recipient receives the correct items in good condition. If there are any issues with the order, be sure to communicate with Instacart customer support to resolve the problem promptly.

Cost and Fees

Instacart charges delivery fees and service fees, which can add up, especially if you‘re sending groceries to others frequently. To minimize costs, consider sharing an Instacart Express membership with family or friends, which offers free delivery on orders over $35 and reduced service fees. You can also take advantage of promotional codes and discounts when available.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I send groceries to someone in a different city or state through Instacart?
    Yes, as long as Instacart serves the recipient‘s location, you can send groceries to someone in a different city or state. Simply add their address to your account and select it during checkout.

  2. Is it possible to schedule a delivery for a specific date and time?
    Yes, Instacart allows you to schedule deliveries up to a week in advance. When placing an order, you can choose a specific date and time window for the delivery to ensure it arrives when it‘s most convenient for your recipient.

  3. What happens if my recipient isn‘t home to accept the delivery?
    If your recipient isn‘t home, the Instacart shopper will follow the delivery instructions you provided, such as leaving the groceries at the door or with a neighbor. If you‘re sending alcohol, however, someone 21 or older must be present to accept the delivery and show a valid ID.

  4. Can I include a gift message with my Instacart delivery?
    Yes, when using the "Send as a Gift" feature, you can include a personalized gift message that will be shared with your recipient via text when the order is placed.

  5. What if there‘s an issue with the groceries delivered to my recipient?
    If there are any issues with the order, such as missing or damaged items, your recipient can report the problem through the Instacart app or website. Instacart‘s customer support team will work to resolve the issue and may offer a refund or replacement for the affected items.


Instacart‘s flexibility and various delivery options make it easier than ever to have groceries delivered to someone else. Whether you choose to share your account, use a group cart, send an order as a gift, or even send alcohol (where permitted), you can brighten someone‘s day with a thoughtful and practical delivery.

By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth and successful Instacart delivery to your chosen recipient. As more people embrace the convenience of grocery delivery services, the ability to send groceries to others will likely continue to grow in popularity, offering new opportunities to show love, support, and care for those around us.

So the next time you want to surprise a loved one, help out a friend, or send a unique gift, consider using Instacart to deliver a little happiness right to their doorstep. Not only will you be making their life a little easier, but you‘ll also be contributing to a more connected, supportive, and sustainable community.


  • Coresight Research. (2021). US Online Grocery Survey 2021: Post-Surge Prospects.
  • Dunn, E. W., Aknin, L. B., & Norton, M. I. (2014). Prosocial spending and happiness: Using money to benefit others pays off. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(1), 41-47.
  • Wygonik, E., & Goodchild, A. V. (2012). Evaluating the efficacy of shared-use vehicles for reducing greenhouse gas emissions: A US case study of grocery delivery. Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, 51(2), 111-126.