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August 16, 2020

What are the Best Grocery Delivery Services? Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean that you can’t eat healthy foods. Apart from restaurant-focused services like Uber Eats, many grocery delivery services continue to operate and supply people with regular groceries.

While many retailers offer free home delivery, you may find that it’s relatively frustrating to price compare supermarkets online.

One solution is to use a service that goes to several shops instead. These grocery delivery services get their products from a whole range of stores, including ASDA online groceries and Tesco home delivery, allowing you to pick and choose what you want from each store.

With so many services available, it can be tricky to know which one is the best. We’ve taken a look at the most popular New York and New Jersey grocery delivery services and compared them in terms of price, delivery fees, same-day delivery options, and convenience to find out which one is the best.

Our Top Grocery Delivery Services (2020 UPDATED)

1 - Instacart(Editor's Choice)

  • Best Match For: People looking to eliminate grocery shopping from their schedule and use all the perks of an easy-to-use app with super-fast delivery times.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time; Instacart Express membership
  • Availability: Over 5,500 cities across the US and Canada
  • Value: Prices vary significantly based on the store and products you choose; 5% service and a delivery fee for non-members; Reduced service fees and free delivery for orders over $35 with Instacart Express membership
  • Type: A food delivery app with over 40,000 partnering stores

Instacart isn’t affiliated with one particular retailer, like home delivery Tesco. Instead, it’s a service that relies on local shoppers to buy your groceries for you.

The service allows you to shop at a variety of stores, including Tesco, Costco, Safeway, and Sam’s Club, without having to apply for membership.

Instacart also takes into account that some stores may not have your products in stock. It gives you to option to choose a substitute product, and the shopper can get in touch with you through the app if necessary. You can also track the status of your order and get live updates throughout the process.

Read our full food delivery app review.

Instacart has relatively low fees, with a delivery fee of $3.99 for orders over $10. If you sign up for an Instacart Express subscription, you get free delivery for all your orders.

Our complete Instacart review will tell you everything you need to know.

PROS

  • Shop from multiple stores
  • Communicate with your shopper in real-time
  • Low fees
  • Get live updates via app

Cons

  • You may not get everything you wanted

2 - Shipt

  • Best Match For: People looking for an affordable grocery delivery app with a great interface.
  • Commitment Level: Monthly or yearly membership
  • Availability: Over 5,000 cities in the US
  • Value: Shipt claims that the average order costs only $5 more than what it would if you went down to the grocery store
  • Type: Grocery delivery from local stores

Shipt is another grocery delivery service that shops at a variety of stores, including Costco, Office Depot, Petco, CVS, and Target.

Their local shoppers go to local stores to fulfill your order, and the app allows you to make changes to your order in real-time.

To use Shipt, you need to sign up for a membership. There are two plans: a yearly membership for $99, or monthly membership for $14 per month. Deliveries are free for orders over $35, but smaller orders will incur a $7 delivery fee to cover the costs of shipping and delivery.

Take a look at our Shipt review.

PROS

  • Change your order in real-time
  • You can buy more than just groceries
  • Shipt hires local shoppers
  • Free delivery for larger orders

Cons

  • Membership is required.

3 - Foodkicks

FoodKick is a New York-based delivery service that focuses on a curated experience.

The service promises same-day delivery and has a wide selection of products, including alcohol, groceries, and common household items.

The site is powered by FreshDirect and has many of the same features, including star ratings for fresh produce.

FoodKick has a $30 minimum order, and FreshDirect customers can use their DeliveryPass to get on-demand delivery at a reduced rate of $2 per order. FoodKick has partnered up with New York Common Pantry, allowing customers to add a small donation to their order, which can cover up to one week of produce for ten families.

PROS

  • FoodKick is part of the FreshDirect family
  • Enjoy a curated experience
  • Contribute to charity with every purchase
  • Same-day delivery is available

Cons

  • Your order must be at least $30

4 - Boxed

  • Best Match For: People looking for a one-stop online marketplace where they can purchase fresh produce, frozen meals, meat, seafood, pantry items, baby products, household essentials, and all other items they may need.
  • Commitment Level: One time orders; Subscription
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii) 
  • Value: The prices start at $1.99 per item. Boxed is a great option for buying in bulk as it offers great deals, free delivery for orders over $49, and free express delivery when your total exceeds $99. You also get 10% off your first order.
  • Type: Online marketplace

Boxed is one of the best grocery delivery services selling items at discount prices.

If you want to take advantage of special discounts or wholesale club prices without signing up for a membership, you should definitely take a look at Boxed.

The site offers a curated selection of items, including groceries and household essentials, in bulk. Thanks to buying in bulk, you save on the individual item price and reduce the amount of time you need to spend shopping online.

Boxed offers a subscription service called Boxed Up that costs $39 for the first year and offers free delivery on all orders. Non-members need a minimum order of $79 to avoid paying the delivery fee.

PROS

  • There is a bulk delivery option.
  • Boxed has the best prices overall.
  • The value-for-money subscription model offers free delivery.
  • You’ll enjoy amazing discounts.

Cons

  • Smaller orders incur a delivery fee without a subscription.

5 - Fresh Direct

  • Best Match For: East-Siders looking for an online marketplace with top-quality foods, fresh produce, wines, ready-to-eat meals, and more.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time
  • Availability: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County (excluding the Hamptons), Westchester, Rockland, Fairfield, Northern New Jersey, Central New Jersey, Southern New Jersey, Greater Philadelphia Area, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Jersey Shore (summer only), and Hamptons (summer only)
  • Value: There is a $30 minimum order, and your delivery fee may range from $5.99 to $15.99 depending on your location.
  • Type: A grocery delivery service

FreshDirect is one of the best grocery delivery services in the NY and New Jersey area.

It sells fresh groceries as well as prepared meals and alcohol.

All of their fresh produce is organic, and the site has a rating system that rates the freshness and quality of the produce of the day.

You don’t need a membership to use FreshDirect, but the site does offer a subscription service called DeliveryPass that gives customers unlimited free delivery, time slot reservations, and other exclusive perks.

The subscription costs $79 for six months, $129 for one year, or $39 for midweek-only deliveries.

The order minimum is $30, and the delivery fee ranges between $5.99 and $15.99, depending on your location.

PROS

  • Enjoy healthy, organic produce.
  • You can get pre-made meals and alcohol.
  • They have a rating system for freshness.
  • A subscription plan is available to cut costs.

Cons

  • The delivery fee is high for non-subscribers

6 - Kroger

  • Best Match For: Busy people who want to find great deals and shop from the convenience of their home instead of going to the supermarket.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Value: The prices are the same as in Kroger supermarkets. There is a service fee ranging from $9.95 to $11.95, with every delivery depending on your location. Shipping is free for orders over $35, but keep in mind that Ship and Delivery options are not the same.
  • Type: Your online supermarket

Unlike other grocery delivery offerings, Kroger’s delivery services only focus on Kroger’s products.

If you use Kroger a lot, you’ll appreciate the convenience of direct-to-door delivery of all your favorite products.

Kroger charges a flat $9.99 fee for all deliveries, regardless of price. There is no minimum order, and you can take advantage of your Kroger membership to get more savings.

PROS

  • They’ll deliver directly to your door.
  • There is no minimum order.
  • Enjoy flat fees.
  • You’ll earn points on your purchase.

Cons

  • You can only shop at Kroger.

7 - Thrive Market

  • Best Match For: People looking for an affordable marketplace with organic products, sustainable meat and seafood, healthy ready-to-eat snacks, beauty products, household items, and more.
  • Commitment Level: Subscription
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Value: $5/month for subscription; Affordable groceries and free delivery
  • Type: Membership-based online marketplace with quality household products

Thrive Market aims to supply all your non-GMO, organic grocery needs.

The online grocery store has a curated selection of groceries, household items, and beauty products for the discerning shopper.

If you’re looking to save up to 50% off regular retail prices for organic, non-GMO products, Thrive Market may be the best grocery delivery site for you.

Thrive Market runs on a membership-only model, with two different options.

Thrive Market's Meal Delivery Service

You can choose between the annual ($59.95) or monthly ($9.95) options, along with a free one-month trial. New members save 25% of their first shop, and the minimum order price for free delivery is $49.

Check out our review of Thrive Market for more info!

PROS

  • They offer a wide variety of non-GMO, organic produce.
  • The prices are affordable.
  • There is a one-month free trial.
  • Members enjoy exceptional savings.

Cons

  • There is a $49 minimum.

8 - Snuk

  • Best Match For: Anyone looking to explore new flavors through exciting international spices, delicious pastes, unique sauces, and other specialty ingredients for an affordable price.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time
  • Availability: The contiguous US (No Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Value: The prices start as low as $1.49 for some ready-to-eat snacks and go up to $100 for some gift sets. Shipping and handling costs depend on the delivery region, but orders over $60 receive free shipping in the contiguous US.
  • Type: Online marketplace of specialty ingredients

Snuk is one of the best grocery delivery services for hard-to-find items. If you’re looking for preserves from Lebanon or tinned seafood from Spain, this is the retailer for you.

Snuk is based in New York but ships to all the contiguous United States.

The main drawback of Snuk is that the site uses FedEx for all its shipping. Using FedEx means variable delivery fees depending on your location and the rates offered by the carrier. Snuk recommends choosing the FedEx Smartpost option for economical shipping that takes a couple of extra days to arrive.

PROS

  • They have an excellent selection of exotic products.
  • Shipping is relatively fast.
  • Choose from a large selection of goods.
  • Their service area is limited.

Cons

  • FedEx shipping can get expensive.

9 - Peapod

  • Best Match For: People in the Northeast area looking for affordable grocery delivery from one of the local chain stores.
  • Commitment Level: No commitments - Order at any time; Membership
  • Availability: New York City, Rhode Island, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New England
  • Value: Peapod offers your average grocery prices with a small delivery fee
  • Type: Fresh produce, groceries, quality meats, household essentials, pantry items, alcoholic beverages, fully prepared froze meals, fresh meal kits, and more.

Peapod is a grocery service that delivers mainly to New York, New Jersey, and New England. Like several other services, Peapod provides you with the opportunity to shop multiple stores at once without leaving the comfort of your home.

In addition to home deliveries, you can collect your order at over 400 Stop and Shop supermarket locations in the mid-Atlantic area.

Peapod has several appealing features that set it apart from the competition. Order Genius is a smart AI feature that recommends a list of products based on your previous selections. Express Shop is a nifty feature that adds staples such as eggs and milk to your order automatically.

Peapod offers multiple membership plans ranging from midweek delivery, seven-day delivery, and all-time delivery options for three different time periods. The subscription amount ranges from $29 to $199 and usually is enough to cover your delivery fees for your subscription period.

Need more info? Read our Peapod review.

PROS

  • You can pick-up your order in store if desired.
  • An AI program learns your shopping habits and builds lists for you.
  • They offer multiple membership options.
  • Peapod provides good value for your money.

Cons

  • Their delivery area is limited.

10 - Amazon Fresh

  • Best Match For: Amazon Prime members who love that familiar Amazon app interface and want to use it to order groceries and everyday home essentials.
  • Commitment Level: You must be an Amazon Prime member
  • Availability: Delivery available in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.
  • Value: You must have an Amazon Prime membership that costs $12.99 per month. Add groceries you want to your cart, and if your total exceeds $35, you receive free shipping. However, some cities like New York have a $50 free delivery cap. If you don’t meet it, you have to pay a delivery fee of up to $10.
  • Type: Online marketplace

Amazon Fresh (rights reserved) is probably one of the best grocery delivery services if you have an Amazon Prime membership and live in one of the cities where it’s available.

Amazon Fresh offers same-day delivery with free shopping.

The store has a huge selection of fresh produce along with many staples and household items.

The layout makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for and has many of the features that make the main Amazon website convenient to use.

If you want free delivery, you’ll need to place a minimum order of $35 to qualify.

PROS

  • Fresh uses Amazon’s back-end for quick and easy shopping.
  • You’ll get your order the same day your place it.
  • Shipping is free.
  • The layout is easy to navigate.

Cons

  • You must be an Amazon Prime member.

11 - Whole Foods via Amazon Prime

  • Best Match For: Whole Foods lovers looking for a super-fast delivery of groceries, household essentials, electronics, and other items from their local Whole Foods.
  • Commitment Level: You must be an Amazon Prime member
  • Availability: Available in Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Austin, Sacramento, Denver, Atlanta and Phoenix
  • Value: You must have an Amazon Prime membership that costs $12.99 per month. You can shop from groceries from your local Whole Foods, and the delivery fees are based on the size of your order.
  • Type: Fast delivery from your local Whole Foods

After merging with Amazon, Whole Foods (rights reserved) has started delivering via Amazon Prime.

Amazon Prime members get free, two-hour delivery in most continental US locations.

Despite not having a delivery fee, some users have noted several hidden costs in the app. These include tips for the courier and extra payments for faster deliveries.

PROS

  • You get peace of mind with Amazon’s trusted delivery system.
  • All your favorite Whole Food items are available.
  • You’ll get your order within two hours.They offer high-quality organic produce.

Cons

  • There are hidden costs.

12 - Mercato

  • Best Match For: People looking for a convenient subscription service with the same-day delivery of groceries, fresh produce, baked goods, beverages, and other food items.
  • Commitment Level: Yearly subscription
  • Availability: Delivery is available in most major cities and metropolitan area. Same day delivery is available in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Seattle, Austin, and New Orleans.
  • Value: When you sign up for Mercato, you have two annual subscription options – Neighborhood for $96 and City for $228. The difference is in the number of stores you can order from. Both options bring you 5% off your orders and free delivery. There is a 30-day trial period when you can cancel your membership for a full refund if you are not satisfied with their service.
  • Type: Grocery delivery

Mercato is an online store that’s paired up with local, independent grocers in your area.

Their offerings include items like artisanal cheeses, international specialties, seasonal produce, and hand-cut meats.

If you’re looking for high-end groceries, this may be the best option for your needs.

Mercato offers a subscription package that includes unlimited free, same-day deliveries. With each ‘green’ order, Mercato plants a tree via the Eden Reforestation Project to offset carbon emissions.

PROS

  • Mercato relies on small, independent grocers.
  • Take your pick from a plethora of exotic products.
  • They offer high-end groceries for affordable prices.
  • A tree is planted for every order you place.

Cons

  • You can only buy groceries.

How is a Grocery Delivery Service Similar to Having a Personal Shopper?

Many of the services we reviewed have local shoppers pick out your items for you. Many even offer the opportunity to communicate with your shopper, in case you forget something or want to clarify the order. These local shoppers may earn extra money from providing a great experience, so you can rely on their knowledge and expertise.

FAQS

What Grocery Delivery Service is Best?

It depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a no-frills experience, Instacart or Amazon Fresh are great. If you want locally-sourced, high-quality produce, try Mercato or Thrive Market. We also recommend checking out the online grocery Tesco for hard-to-find products.

Which Grocery Delivery Service is Cheapest?

We found Instacart to be the cheapest overall. If you already have Amazon Prime, you may find Amazon Fresh to be more affordable, but if you don’t, it can be hard to justify the $119 annual subscription. Many of the services we looked at waive their delivery fee if you pay over a certain amount per order.

What Delivery Service Delivers Groceries?

All of the brands we looked at supply groceries.

How Much Do You Tip the Grocery Delivery Person?

Many apps will give you various amounts you can tip, ranging from 5% to 15% of the order. These are just basic guidelines, though, and you can tip as much as you’d like. Since these drivers are putting their lives on the line so that you can have your fresh produce, why not tip more? Experts recommend tipping between 10% and 20%, and even more if you can afford to.

What Service Should You Try?

Grocery deliveries are a natural extension of many other delivery services. There are hundreds of sites offering these types of services, so it’s important to find the one that best fits your needs. Many sites offer niche products, like hard-to-find exotics, organic, and non-GMO produce. No matter what type of groceries you want to buy, there’s likely to be an app that caters to your needs.

Instacart

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Shop from multiple stores
  • Communicate with your shopper in real-time
  • Low fees
  • Get live updates via app

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