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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Consumers who rushed to use delivery services during the pandemic won't abandon them even though most restrictions have eased, says Instacart's new president, Carolyn Everson.

Why it matters: Instacart is rumored to be planning an IPO, though it reportedly tried to sell itself to a couple of rivals amid rumors of weakening customer demand for grocery delivery.

What they're saying: "Once a consumer gets on that digital train, they don't just jump and walk back to the station," Everson says. "And their expectations increase."

  • She points out that the company has been adding delivery from other types of retailers and rolling out addition options to fill out more use cases.

Instacart Thursday also published a report that it commissioned finding that since 2013 it has created more than 186,000 grocery jobs and helped increase U.S. grocers’ revenue by $6.4 billion.

  • Asked about a current boycott campaign by some Instacart delivery workers for better working conditions, Everson told Axios the company's recent worker sentiment ratings were the highest in the company's history. Still, even an individual's negative feedback is important, she added.

The big picture: Instacart is simultaneously working to expand its advertising business.

  • That was one key reason for Everson's hiring; she previously oversaw relationships with advertisers and ad agencies at Facebook.
  • Instacart's rivals and peers are also in the ad business now.
  • "For the most part, our [consumer packaged goods] advertisers are using us for performance advertising... we're just scratching the surface," she says, adding that the company will be creating new ways for CPG brands to advertise to its consumers, as well as expanding the categories of advertisers it works with over time.
  • "The other piece of the puzzle... is that our advertising is about lowering the cost to the consumer for delivery," she adds. "We're not just doing the ad business just to do the ad business." (Food delivery has notoriously thin margins, especially for third-party providers like Instacart.)

The intrigue: While ultra-fast grocery delivery services — which operate their own warehouses located throughout dense cities — have boomed recently, Everson says that Instacart has no plans to became a retailer itself.

Go deeper

Higher prices, weaker targeting push companies to rethink digital ads

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital ad prices are soaring, forcing businesses to rethink their entire marketing strategies.

Why it matters: At the same time digital ads are getting more expensive, they're also getting harder to target, creating big barriers to entry for startup digital-native brands trying to find their first customers.

2 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

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