NEW YORK — Natural grocery chain Sprouts is teaming up with Instacart to expand its delivery options, a strategy many chains have been racing to adopt since Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods last year.

Sprouts, which competes with Whole Foods, will start offering Instacart delivery in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, on Tuesday. It plans to roll out delivery to more markets this year.

Delivery has become a critical area for retailers as customers want convenience. Target, for example, recently announced it would buy grocery delivery company Shipt.

Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., which has more than 280 stores, already has a deal with Amazon to deliver groceries through its Prime Now service in eight cities. Sprouts CEO Amin Maredia says the company plans to keep that deal and add Instacart in other areas.