7 Best Grocery Delivery Services, Rated and Reviewed

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best grocery delivery services

Is your typical day spent running errands all around town? Do you find yourself pressed for time? A grocery delivery service may offer a smart way to use your time more wisely. More people are discovering the convenience that shopping online offers. It’s now a $13 billion industry that experts forecast will continue to grow ( Source: Ibis World ).

That’s good news for consumers. It means better choices and expanded delivery areas. Even if you live out of town, you’ll likely find a service that you can use. Let’s run down some of the major players in this market to see how they stack up against the competition.


Shipt

Shipt is one of the newer services in the market founded in 2014 by Bill Smith. It has struggled with a limited reach and high overhead. However, according to A Bullseye View that’s about to change with Target Corporation’s acquisition of the business in 2017. Its business model is similar to Instacart which partners with local stores. They include big names like Costco and Meijer.

Shipt-Logo

The service offers same-day delivery. It takes an interesting twist on the problem of selecting items like produce by working with personal shoppers. The company actively recruits for new team members. It also solves the problem of food that isn’t fresh. Product prices include a small service fee. In many ways, it resembles Uber.

There are a couple of hitches. You can’t browse the site for prices unless you sign up first. You can get a free trial, but you’ll need to enter payment information. And if the service isn’t available, you’re out of luck. There are some caveats about paying too which will likely be resolved once everything is set up with Target.

Overall Rating

4.5 out of 5

Who Should Use It

It’s a good choice if you want only the best in produce and other products that you can get locally.

Cost

$14 a month or $99 annual membership. There is free delivery on orders over $35. Otherwise, it’s $7 per trip.


Instacart

Apoorva Mehta founded the company in 2012. The business model of Instacart differs from the other services in several key ways. It provides same-day delivery through partnerships with local stores. Millennials are one of its target customer bases with a smartphone app and acceptance of both Apple Pay and Android pay for purchases.

Instacart Logo

The prices will vary with the local store with a small markup to cover their costs. The minimum order is $10. There are a lot of conditions that’ll affect the delivery cost such as the time window, the size of the order and the traffic. One area where it excels is its market. The company has ambitious plans to serve 80 percent of households by 2018.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5

Who Should Use It

It’s a great option if you like your local grocery store—and its prices.

Cost

Delivery costs start at $5.99 for a two-hour delivery window. Instacart Express offers free unlimited free deliveries over $35 with an annual price of $149 or $14.99 a month.


Boxed

Boxed was the brainchild of Chieh Huang, Jared Yaman, Christopher Cheung and William Fong who founded the business in 2013. Unlike other companies, they deliver to the lower 48 states with a two-day delivery window. You can think of it as a cross between Amazon and Costco. And like the former, it offers bulk, wholesale products. However, there are no membership fees.

Boxed Logo

There’s no denying the cost savings, especially on pantry items. It does not offer fresh foods or produce if you’re not in the service area for Boxed Express. On the positive side, you’ll get your choice of free samples with every delivery. One thing to bear in mind is that you’re buying bulk which means big boxes.

Overall Rating

4 out of 5

Who Should Use It

If you like to stock up, it’s worth a look for a convenient alternative.

Cost

Delivery is free on orders over $49. Otherwise, it’s $6.99.


Peapod

Peapod has been in the business since 1989. Founded by Andrew Parkinson and Thomas Parkinson, the company is the big kid on the block with operations in 23 urban markets. The emphasis is on fresh, quality products that they back up with a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee.

Peapod Logo

A random sampling of the prices revealed some great deals on meat and produce. There are minimum purchases on some items. The company also offers meal kits which is another soaring business model. There are a lot of special deals with the kits showing up frequently. Customers can save on delivery costs by selecting Value Days to receive their orders.

You can also pick from Chicago favorites like Eli’s Cheesecake or Garrett’s Popcorn Shops. People with food intolerances will appreciate the wide range of gluten-free products. We were hard-pressed to find anything that wasn’t on our list. While the drivers are great, there is the occasional fulfillment issue. Unfortunately, the produce isn’t always the best.

Overall Rating

3.5 out of 5

Who Should Use It

If you buy a lot of staples, you can catch some great deals.

Cost

Minimum order is $60.00 with a $9.95 delivery charge. Pickup fee is $2.95 for all orders. New customers can get free shipping and $20 off on their first purchase.


Jet

Jet was founded by Marc Lore, Mike Hanrahan and Nate Faust in 2013. The company uses a pricing algorithm model which means that the costs will vary by location. It is similar to Boxed in that it offers wholesale prices. It also includes a wide range of non-perishable items from canned goods to furniture to electronics. It is another Amazon type of business in that regard.

Jet.com Logo

There is limited availability for delivery of perishable products. The selection is quite limited too. The company does offer two-day shipping. It excels in customer service. You can get a hold of a live person 24/7 which is always appreciated.

Overall Rating

3.5 out of 5

Who Should Use It

You can get some great deals if you live close to one of its distribution centers.

Cost

Free shipping on orders over $35. Purchases under that amount have a $5.99 delivery charge.


Amazon Fresh

Amazon Fresh, a subsidiary of the parent company, has been around since 2007. You may not have seen it since its market reach is very limited even with the acquisition of Whole Foods. That has been an issue in recent months with service suspension in several areas. Many of the grocery store products are available which has increased its selection.

Amazon Fresh Logo

Prices are competitive with local stores. The site offers a lot of deals and specials. We liked being able to see ratings on the products before we added them to our cart. There’s a decent selection of produce and meat. The fruits and vegetables look great considering we didn’t pick them ourselves. Navigation, however, is wonky, requiring several clicks to get an item.

Delivery is excellent which we’d expect from Amazon. You’ll receive your groceries in insulated, reusable bags that you turn back in with a subsequent order. We hope that everyone washes them before giving them back. You’ll also find meal kits though the choices are limited. That seems to a theme with Amazon Fresh. And we can’t ignore the market changes.

Overall Rating

3 out of 5

Who Should Use It

If you’re not picky about your produce, you’ll get some good prices especially if you buy a lot of staples.

Cost

$14.95 a month with an Amazon Prime Membership. Deliveries of orders over $40 are free. Otherwise, it’s $9.99 each.


Google Express

Google Express began in 2013 in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. It differs from the other services in that it has partnerships with different types of stores too. You don’t have to be a member to use its services either. While convenient, there are several add-on fees that can make it a dealbreaker.

Google Express Logo

First, there is a membership fee if you go that route. Delivery is free as long as you meet the store’s minimum purchase. Second, there is the per-store fee of $4.99 which can certainly add up if you do a lot of shopping. The order threshold applies to each one. On the plus side, there is a three-month free trial.

However, you can only get pantry or staple items rather than fresh foods with such a limited service area. If you want to get other shopping done, it might not be a bad deal as long as you mind the minimums and the extra fees. Its value lies in being able to get free shipping for less. With some stores, it’s a wash if they offer it already.

Overall Rating

3 out of 5

Who Should Use It

If you need other products than fresh food, it could save you a lot of time.

Cost

Starts at $4.99 per store for non-members. Membership costs $95 a year or $10 a month. Minimum purchases vary with the retailer.

Summary

Grocery delivery services are gaining popularity, and are available in more settings than ever, whether you reside in the suburbs or the city. Grocery delivery options can help you save time, cut costs and hold off your weekly trip to the store. In most cases, getting your groceries through a service will cost more than going yourself. But if a grocery delivery service can free up more sanity or time, they can be worth every penny. So which is the best grocery delivery service for you?
Only you know the right balance between cost versus convenience in your life. But we hope the picks we have provided here and the criteria we outlined help you in your quest to find the right Grocery delivery service for you.


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