Instacart has a new AI-powered search feature

Photo via Instacart

‘Ask Instacart’ was designed to make grocery shopping more efficient for consumers

With many experts speculating that Amazon will soon adopt an artificial intelligence (AI) search feature, Instacart has just launched exactly that: Ask Instacart

The new AI-powered search tool will help streamline the grocery shopping process for consumers by providing personalized recommendations, offering suggestions for meal planning, and assisting with just about anything grocery-related. 

“A simple question like ‘What’s for dinner?’ is among the most complex for families everywhere to answer,” said JJ Zhuang, chief architect at Instacart. “From decisions about budget and dietary specifications to cooking skills, personal preferences, and so much more, Ask Instacart can help customers answer all of their food questions and deliver the ingredients for the perfect meal in as fast as an hour. 

“Whether it’s, ‘What’s the best fish for tacos?’ or ‘What should I make for a Memorial Day BBQ,” by supercharging Instacart search with generative AI we can create a truly inspiring experience that unlocks even more opportunities to engage and help customers as they shop online from their favorite retailers,” Zhuang said. 

Get cooking and shopping help

Ask Instacart is designed to help consumers answer just about any cooking or shopping question. You can ask questions about ingredients that work well together, get ideas for meal prep, and perfect the menu for your next gathering. 

Instacart explained that the main features of the new search engine include

  • Ingredient help for specific dishes you’re making (“What can I use in a stir fry?”)

  • Figure out which ingredients/dishes pair well together (“What kind of side dishes should I serve with lamb?”)

  • Personalized dietary recommendations (“What are dairy-free snacks for kids?”) 

  • Ideas for substituting certain ingredients/dishes (“What fish is similar to salmon?”)

  • Cooking inspiration and guidance (“What are the best veggies to roast?” or “What are good sauces for grilling chicken?”)

Ask Instacart will also utilize shoppers’ previous search history to tailor the app and its services to their needs. Based on things you’ve purchased in the past, you can expect to see new items that might be of interest, a reminder to stock up on a favorite that you may be running low on, or specific product recommendations tailored to your tastes. 

The on-demand grocery company will begin rolling out Ask Instacart immediately, and all customers should expect to see the feature when they open the app in the coming weeks. To access Ask Instacart, users will see the new features right in their search bar. 

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