Grocery delivery is one of the hottest new services to make its mark on the internet. For consumers who are strapped for time or simply dislike the jostling crowds at the store, being able to order from the comfort of your phone or computer is a godsend. One of the most popular grocery delivery services today is Peapod. Today, we’re diving deep into all things Peapod to help you decide if it’s right for you!
What is Peapod and How Does It Work?
Like other similar grocery delivery services, Peapod allows you to skip the hassle of shopping for groceries, so you can spend more time on the things that matter to you. Peapod provides a wide variety of fresh groceries straight to your front door, allowing you to choose the delivery time that’s most convenient.
Fun fact: Peapod is one of the first grocery delivery services and one of the earliest internet startups! Created in the late 80s by brothers Andrew Parkinson and Thomas Parkinson, the company partnered with grocery stores in Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio, Houston, Texas, and San Francisco, California. Thanks to the company’s success, it is now owned by the Royal Ahold grocery corporation and partners with Ahold’s two main chains in the United States: Stop & Shop and Giant Food.
Peapod delivers in New England, the Midwest, and a handful of other places. Customers can use Peapod’s app or website to place an order and schedule delivery for the same day or next day or as far as two weeks out. Groceries can be delivered even if you’re not home, as the company uses insulated boxes to drop off your delivery at your front door.
Customers can indicate whether or not substitutions are allowed; if they are allowed, Peapod deliveries will offer a comparable product at no extra cost, which you may accept or decline. In a later section, will discuss at greater length how Peapod stacks up to other grocery delivery services, and whether or not this makes it a good choice for you.
What Makes Peapod Unique
Peapod grocery delivery service allows you to save time and money. Ordering online means you don’t have to grapple with difficult weather conditions, bad traffic, or hunting for that rare ingredient. In fact, most people appreciate online ordering because you can do it from the comfort of your own home with very little extra time.
It also makes meal planning a breeze. If you’re trying to shop more economically, being able to see exact item prices while you meal plan is a tremendous benefit. Plus, you won’t be tempted by impulse buys! Despite the fact that grocery delivery services typically charge fees that you wouldn’t pay if you were shopping yourself, it’s not uncommon for customers to report spending less on their grocery budget overall by taking advantage of a service such as Peapod!
Peapod set the standard for grocery delivery in the United States, but as the industry has grown, different services have taken on different characteristics. Below, we’ve outlined some of Peapod’s:
Pricing is fairly straightforward:
Thanks to its history in the business, Peapod has a reputation for being tried and true. While huge chains like Walmart and Target are just now getting into the delivery businesses, Peapod has been doing it for years and has the experience to back up great customer service. It’s also a great sign that Peapod has partnered with a corporate giant like Ahold, as this speaks volumes about how this industry (grocery delivery service) will only grow in the coming years.
Reviewers report loving Peapod’s overall service (it tends to rate highly when stacked against other similar services) and also love being able to order alcohol with their orders (available in some states) as well as meal kits, which are specially packaged sets of food ingredients designed to be quickly whipped up into a meal.
There are companies such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron that offer independent meal kit delivery, but many customers appreciate being able to take care of all their meal needs in one quick online stop.
It’s also easy to save money with Peapod. The company offers different membership savings, free trials, and extra savings via email newsletter. Reviewers often report that the small amount they pay in delivery fee is well worth the reduced hassle of this common household chore.
Finally, reviewers almost universally sing the praises of delivery that doesn’t require them to be present. Peapod packs groceries with dry ice so your food is safe to sit on your front door till you get home from work--no trying to schedule a grocery delivery for a small window of time or rushing to get home because you forgot!
Have you used Peapod or other grocery delivery service? We’d love to hear from you! Share your experiences in the comments below.
What It Could Do Better
Despite the amazing service Peapod provides, there are still some things it could improve on. These entries keep it from becoming the perfect online grocery delivery service.
How It Compares
How does Peapod compare to other options? We’ve mentioned a few things in passing in earlier sections, but let’s dive a little deeper!
As we’ve mentioned, one of the things that set Peapod apart is how they handle substitutions. Peapod doesn’t offer a lot of customization with regards to substituting items that aren’t in stock. Some grocery delivery services are similar, but some allow you to text directly with your shopper. He or she will notify you if there’s an unavailable item, and you’ll be able to directly communicate about options.
Of course, this will sometimes hold up your shopper, and some of you don’t have the time or want to deal with text conversations about one brand of milk instead of another, but that is a nice option to have available.
Other grocery delivery services also provide more options. Since some aren’t directly tied to certain grocery stores, they allow you to cherry pick. You can buy your pantry items, for example, at a local discount store, and your produce and meats at Whole Foods. These tend to only be available in larger urban areas and might not be available in your location at all.
More options are available to you if you’re doing the shopping yourself, where you can directly compare store specials that don’t always show up during online shopping. Plus, some other grocery delivery stores have a more robust online platform that allows you to not just save past orders or favorites but also lists (a “lasagna night” list, for example).
Who It’s Not Good For
While there are tons of people who love online grocery shopping, there are some people for whom Peapod just won’t be a good fit. If you’re not familiar with Shop & Save or Giant, for example, you might be frustrated as you try to add items to your online cart. Online grocery shopping tends to be much easier and simpler when you’re very familiar with the store’s offerings.
Also, if you’re someone who doesn’t like planning ahead and instead relies on your store’s shelves and displays to inspire you, online shopping might not work well for you.
Finally, if you have very strong feelings about the quality of produce--that is, if you’re somebody who needs to squeeze the fruit yourself--online grocery shopping is not for you! At the end of the day, as good as your shopper might be, nobody quite picks produce as you would.
What We Think
Barring people who don’t want anyone else picking out their produce, we recommend everyone else give online grocery services a try (especially since most services offer a free trial or discounted introductory rate).
If you live in an area that Peapod offers services, we think it’s a great new way to save time--and maybe even money. Particularly if you’re a busy parent, work is a stressor, or you just plain ‘ol don’t like grocery shopping, finding a solution to reduce stress should be treated as a golden opportunity.
Our verdict: Give Peapod a try!
Here are Our Tips for Having the Best Experience:
First, be willing to try different services, or be willing to try the same service a few times before calling it a loss.
We all know those people who can whip in and out of their local grocery with a week’s worth of groceries in no time flat, but we also know that if we’re shopping at a store that isn’t familiar to us, we’re bound to get caught up looking for the pasta aisle. Online shopping is just the same! Take your time, go slow, and be prepared to forget things.
Online grocery shoppers tend to hit their stride when they’ve ordered enough to build a handy list of the things they order all the time right in their app. Then, the ordering process takes just a few minutes.
It’s also something worth considering for those big jobs: shopping for a party, for example, or a once a month freezer-cooking shopping trip. Then, it’s like having an extra set of hands!
Coupons and Deals
Right now, on Peapod’s website, you can save $20 on your first order plus get free delivery. There’s also a widget so you can see if Peapod delivery is available in your area. Here’s to helpful online shopping!