- In a matter of weeks, Aldi and Instacart have more than doubled the number of the discounter's stores offering online Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) payments for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants.
- More than 1,700 Aldi stores across 29 states and Washington, D.C., now let online shoppers pick out SNAP-eligible products for same-day delivery or pickup, the discount grocer and e-commerce platform announced Thursday.
- Aldi’s expanded SNAP e-commerce presence with Instacart poses competition for Walmart and Amazon, which have dominated availability through the federal government’s SNAP online pilot to date.
In October, Aldi and Instacart said their SNAP online partnership was coming to more than 600 stores in five states, starting in Georgia in mid-November. Then a few weeks later, 150 Aldi stores in Texas started offering the service through Instacart.
This latest announcement brings onboard nearly 1,000 more stores in 23 states and D.C., meaning SNAP online payment has now reached the majority of Aldi’s more than 2,000 stores across the U.S.
Unlike the previous rollouts, Instacart is waiving delivery fees during this latest expansion for up to three EBT SNAP orders per customer during a 90-day period that started Wednesday. Aldi’s $1.99 pickup fee on orders over $35 through Instacart will still apply.
To use their benefits, SNAP participants will first need to enter their EBT card information either on Instacart’s app or on Aldi’s online shopping site, which is powered by Instacart, along with having another form of payment to cover non-eligible SNAP items, taxes, tips and fees. After selecting a nearby participating store, they can shop for SNAP-eligible items, choose how much of their benefits they would like to allocate and place an order for scheduled or same-day delivery or pickup.
The news comes at a time when grocers large and small are looking to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SNAP online payment program, which has grown to include 46 states and D.C. Since the pilot started in April 2019, Amazon and Walmart have had the largest reach to SNAP participants looking to shop online and not have to bring their EBT cards to pay for pickup orders.
Now, competition for online SNAP dollars is ramping up. H-E-B in Texas recently started offering SNAP online ordering. Meanwhile, Albertsons, which last month expanded the number of pickup locations accepting SNAP benefits, has said it plans to expand online SNAP payment, as well. Kroger and Hy-Vee have also expanded EBT SNAP payments through their popular curbside pickup programs.