Can Instacart Deliver Ice Cream? (Yes, but it could arrive melted)


Instacart is the #1 grocery store delivery company. The service is convenient and affordable, as they all kinds of groceries to your doorstep. But as a new customer, you might be wondering can Instacart deliver ice cream.

I looked into it and here’s what I found out:

Yes, Instacart does deliver ice cream in addition to all other types of frozen and refrigerated food items. You can find a variety of brands and flavors on the Instacart app or choose a specific one from your favorite grocer. To prevent melting, Instacart uses coolers and insulated bags. 

But despite their efforts, there are chances that the ice cream may still melt. So will that count as a damaged product and will you get a refund for this?

Keep reading to know more about this, and I’ll also compare Instacart with its counterparts.

Just keep reading!

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Can you get ice cream delivered?

Yes is the short answer.

If you live 5 miles from the store, getting ice cream delivered is probably not the best idea. Standard Instacart deliveries take more than an hour, so consider that before ordering.

Your shopper might take a while to find your items, but this isn’t a big concern. Instacart has a nifty feature in the app that lets you prioritize items. You can always make your shopper know to get the ice cream last, and maybe you won’t get ice cream ‘soup.’

However, if your shopper has more than one order to deliver, your ice cream could stay out longer. And while they do use coolers and insulated bags to help protect perishable items, these aren’t the same as your grocer’s freezer.

So melted ice cream is possible from Instacart.

Does ice cream melt with Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Instacart delivery?

After comparing these three delivery services, my conclusion is that there’s a high chance that your ice cream will melt. But before you panic, they do try their best to deliver items in good condition. Let’s take a look at them separately.

DoorDash has partnered with a few well-known brands like Baskin Robbins and Dairy Queen.

The downside is that the shopper might have to wait on the order and then wait at other restaurants if you ordered more items. You also can’t order whipped cream on anything as it tends to melt fast.

A common question is if DoorDash delivers for Walmart.

The short answer is yes, but check out my recent article to know all the details. It covers all the benefits of using DoorDash to shop at Walmart.

Go check it out. It has lots of perks! Just click that link to read it on my site.

Uber Eats has ‘stashes’ of ice cream at gas stations and local convenience stores. This way, they can choose the stores closer to you, lowering the chance of melting.

The only downside is that this may not be available in every state. So, you must check their website for eligible deliveries. Uber Eats also has a large variety of restaurant partners, and they all provide insulated bags to keep items hot or cold.

Instacart also shares the above similarities, so it all depends on how far the shopper has to travel with the ice cream. But how many other deliveries they are making at the same time is a factor also.

Does Instacart use coolers & how do they keep food cold?

Yes. Instacart uses coolers. My research shows that Instacart places great emphasis on food safety. Let’s take a look at their food storage requirements below.

An essential requirement for Instacart Shoppers (their contracted employees) is to have an insulated bag.

Shoppers also use ice and frozen gel packs, depending on the required temperature for transportation. They are required to complete and pass a food safety test on their app.

They even get a badge, and this proves they are well educated on proper food storage. With several years of working in the food services industry, I understand the importance of this and appreciate the effort.

However, it’s worth noting that unlike a professional delivery service with branded delivery trucks, Instacart relies on the so-called gig economy.

This means that Instacart’s contracted employees simply drive their own vehicles. No one will have an actual refrigerated or frozen cooler in their vehicle the same way big delivery companies do in their trucks.

Don’t want to risk melted ice cream delivered to you and hour or more after you wanted it?

Don’t sweat it. You can still use Instacart to get ice cream without having to walk into a store! In my recent article on Instacart Pickup, I get into everything from finding available stores to e-coupons. But I also spell out exactly how the pickup process works.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How much is an Instacart delivery?

Delivery charges may change depending on your state. Some Instacart stores have markups, and others don’t, so this does affect your overall cost.

Once you spend more than $35 and choose their regular delivery option, the fee will be $5.99. For delivery in an hour or less, the fee is $7.99.

If you are using the service often or have a family of 3 or more, I recommend getting the express membership for $149. The benefits are free delivery over $35, and you pay no extra fees while shopping from numerous stores.

Another thing worth mentioning is that there is a service fee listed on the website.

It is not a tip for your shopper. Instacart states it helps to operate the service. Tipping is different and 100% of the tip goes to the Instacart Shopper who delivers your order. And you can do it right from the app, although, there’s nothing wrong with giving them cash also.

But how much should you tip an Instacart Shopper who delivers your order?

They did save you gas, time, and money, right? Not to mention communicating with you regularly if your chosen items aren’t available. Here’s my recent article on tipping your Instacart shopper.

It has all you need to know about how much is fair to give and why. It also has information on how you can use the Instacart app to tip your shopper.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Can you get refunded from Instacart if your ice cream is melted?

Yes, you can. Whether the food is spoiled, damaged, or otherwise unusable, Instacart will refund you.

This also applies to the missing items you were charged for. You’ll need to request a refund within seven days of delivery.

Let’s talk about how to get your money back. There are two ways to go about it. One, you can tell your shopper at the time of delivery to refund your Instacart account with credit.

This will go towards your next purchase.

If you use their service often, it shouldn’t be a problem. Simply give the shopper the melted ice cream to keep or toss. This saves you the time to contact the support team yourself. Be sure to follow up with them, though.

The other option is to have the money refunded to your bank.

The Instacart app has a great feature that allows you to give feedback on your order. You can then send a picture of the melted ice cream to them via email. The processing is prompt, but it can take up to two weeks to receive the money, depending on your bank.

Did I cover all you wished to know about Instacart and ice cream delivery?

Instacart saves you the hassle of going into the store and waiting in long queues for your favorite dessert.

Especially with so many people staying home with their families now, it provides great convenience. But apart from this information, you also learned what they charge and the benefits of their premium membership.

Also, they take good care of storage methods and try to prevent your ice cream from melting. I also compared their ice cream delivery to DoorDash and Uber Eats and went into detail on each of them.

I also looked at their refund policy and saw where you could add the money to your bank account or Instacart account.

But if you live close to the store, remember that sometimes Instacart marks up prices as much as 25%!

Sometimes it’s worth the convenience to pay a little more. But before you decide to sign up on Instacart, check out my recent article on Instacart versus store charges.

It covers which stores don’t have Instacart markups and which ones have high markups. It also has information on Instacart’s pickup charge if you don’t want your items delivered.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades. I worked in 9 stores in 4 states, not counting the hundred-plus stores I've assisted in other ways. I was a Global All-Star, a Gold Pen Winner, and won Top-10 Store (company-wide) 3 times in addition to Best New Store (company-wide).

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