With the growth of grocery delivery services, there are a lot of reasons to try them: they can save time by reducing a 5-hour shopping trip to a few minutes online, cut down on impulse buying, and make it easy to find special products that are kosher, organic, gluten-free, or sugar-free. Most services have mobile apps so you can add to or change your order on the go, and some offer online specials and digital coupons. They’re a great way to plan meal lists and easily track how much you spend on groceries.
On the other hand, you’ll likely pay higher prices for the products, you can’t handpick your produce, and you may still need to go out to buy perishables like milk and bread. Delivery varies by service and can take a few hours or days, shipping fees are reduced by placing larger orders in advance, and new or frequent shoppers can save with discounted or free delivery codes. Delivery services may be best used to complement regular grocery store trips, rather than replace them entirely.
Delivery services appeal to five different types of customers: busy mothers who shop for the family and regularly place large orders; young professionals with smaller and more frequent orders; the elderly or disabled, who order for themselves or receive orders placed by others; those who have difficulty finding special dietary products; and offices ordering many items from multiple grocery stores to be delivered at the same time.
While the grocery delivery segment is growing at a fast pace, it’s still hard to compare them, since most companies offer only local or regional services at this time and they each have different features. Shoppers who live in Middle America don’t have the opportunity to try many of them yet, because so far they’ve set up shop only in select cities on the east and west coasts. Here are some of the best:
- Peapod carries national and store brands, packs orders in temperature-controlled containers, and offers weekly sales, exclusive offers, and accepts and doubles coupons up to 99¢. They also have organic products, prepared meals, and their NutriFilter even lists Weight Watchers point values next to certain products. They currently serve customers in CT, IL, IN, MA, RI, NH, NY, NJ, DC, MD, PA, VA, and WI.
- Safeway delivers in AZ, CA, MD, OR, VA, WA, and DC; their affiliate Vons serves CA and NV. Shoppers can take advantage of the same specials as offered in the stores if they have a Safeway Club card. The first delivery is free for new customers on a minimum $49 order with code EASY7. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Netgrocer offers weekly specials, and is worth mentioning because they ship via Fedex nationwide and to APO/FPO addresses.
- ShopFoodEx mail order grocery also ships to APO/FPO military adresses, as well as Canada and Australia. You can choose from 11,000 grocery items and save 33% off shipping on orders over $100.
- WeGoShop is not an online grocery store, it’s a personal shopping service provider that allows customers to buy from the local grocery store of their choice. They also deliver to vacationers at resorts. Since you pay on delivery, it is the only service that accepts cash payment.
- FreshDirect’s Long Island City warehouse serves New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, they accept digital coupons, and their website allows shoppers the most customization. They offer next day delivery, see delivery information here for NY, NJ, CT, PA, and DE plus Hamptons and Jersey Shore for summer only.
- GardenGrocer serves Orlando and the Central Florida area. They offer discounts for ordering in advance and deliver 7 days a week, even to resort hotels. Delivery fees are cheaper on larger orders, and they utilize coolers with freezer packs and dry ice to ensure your perishables arrive cold or frozen.
- Instacart is number one on the 2015 Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies list. The San Francisco-based company is now in 15 cities – Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Seattle & Washington D.C. areas. They offer flat rate delivery fees and Express members pay $100 per year to get free scheduled or 2-hour delivery on orders over $35. They do have partner stores but connect you with personal shoppers in your area who pick up and deliver your groceries from your favorite local stores. Find your location at this link, and get free delivery or pickup on your first order over $10. They don’t honor sales and coupons from the partner stores, but frequently have their own promotions.
A price comparison posted here showed Instacart prices were higher than Amazon Fresh or Safeway. A disappointing policy change by Amazon Fresh that a $299 per year Amazon Prime Fresh membership will be required to continue using their service in Seattle may drive down their customer base. For those who choose to stay with them, the $299 fee does include all the benefits of a standard Amazon Prime membership, with free two-day shipping on Amazon.com orders.
Add commentJune 29th, 2015