Instacart CEO says online grocery shopping has room to grow

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2019, file photo, Fidji Simo arrives at Variety's Power of Women on Friday, at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. When the pandemic hit the U.S. last year, grocery delivery company Instacart suddenly became a lifeline for millions of consumers. Sales volumes skyrocketed; in one month, the company added 300,000 drivers to keep up with its orders. Guiding Instacart through this new normal is Simo, a former executive at Facebook who joined Instacart's board in February and took over as CEO in August. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

When the pandemic hit the U.S. last year, grocery delivery company Instacart suddenly became a lifeline for millions of consumers. Sales volumes skyrocketed; in one month, the company added 300,000 drivers to keep up with its orders.

"We saw five years of growth packed into one year," Instacart CEO Fidji Simo said.

Demand has waned this year but remains above pre-pandemic levels. San Francisco-based Instacart -- which is a private company -- expects to see double-digit transaction growth this year.

But the company -- which offers delivery from 55,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada through its 500,000 contract workers -- is also trying to expand in other ways, like offering advertising services and non-grocery delivery from stores like Dick's Sporting Goods. An initial public offering is likely in its future.

Guiding Instacart through this new normal is Simo, a former executive at Facebook who joined Instacart's board in February and took over as CEO in August.