CNBC reports that Amazon-owned Whole Foods’ deal with delivery service Instacart has officially come to an end.

Whole Foods was one of Instacart’s earliest and biggest partners; it could be argued that the contract between the two companies provided Instacart with a kind of imprimatur that allowed it to attract other retailers. When Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017, a divorce was certain … though it also could be argued that this development provided the impetus for competitive retailers to get serious about delivery and sign deals with Instacart.

The CNBC story says that Whole Foods now accounts for less than five percent of Instacart’s revenue.

Instacart co-founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta tells CNBC that the company is ready for its new reality. ““Whole Foods was one of our first partners,” he says. “But over the last few years, pretty much every major grocer in North America has chosen Instacart as their partner.”

CNBC reports that “Instacart says it now delivers groceries from more than 20,000 stores across the US and Canada and expanded its offerings to include alcohol delivery and advertising,” and claims that every one of its deliveries is profitable. “That doesn’t mean that Instacart as a company is profitable because it does not reveal administrative costs, sales and marketing and other expenses,” the story says. “Mehta would not say whether the entire company is profitable, but said it is actively focused on growth and continuing to scale. Profitability may become an important metric for Instacart as it prepares for an eventual IPO, which Mehta says he expects eventually.”

KC's View: If he’s not saying that the company is profitable, then it isn’t. And it remains my guess that Instacart is in a race to achieve the kind of profitability that will allow it to make a killing through an IPO before the house of cards falls apart. Instacart is a good short-term solution, but it is a lousy long-term approach, for all the reasons that I’ve stated here in the past.

One interesting note … when I was shopping at my local Whole Foods a couple of days ago, the checkout person made a point of telling me - unprompted - that Instacart was about to be out and Prime Now about to be in. That kind of employee buy-in sort of surprised me, but it suggests that we could see a full court marketing press from Amazon-Whole Foods in coming weeks.