Amazon has become the largest online retailer with over 300 million active members worldwide. And, it has broken into every industry, including food and beverage. In the wake of Covid-19, it was a natural progression into food and grocery delivery services. Now, Amazon Fresh has many competitors worried as it establishes its presence by utilizing technology, convenience, and wider selections to offer lower prices. But, let’s take a look to see how Amazon Fresh stacks up vs other grocery stores.
What is Amazon Fresh?
Amazon Fresh is the e-commerce giant’s solution for your grocery needs, offering wide selections and same-day delivery. In many respects, shopping for your groceries online is very similar to your other Amazon orders.
Unfortunately, its services are not yet available to everyone. But Prime members in select cities can shop for groceries, everyday essentials, and any other grocery items they may need. When you visit the site, you select your items and add them to your cart. Then, you choose either a pickup time or schedule within the available window with the option of attended or unattended delivery. Once the order is sent out, you will receive the tracking information where you can see its exact location.
While Amazon Fresh has become most popular for its delivery services, there are also a few physical store locations you can visit. You can find their stores in most major cities across the U.S. and a few international locations as well. However, delivery and service fees may apply.
How Does Amazon Fresh Compare vs Other Grocery Stores?
1. Amazon Fresh has competitive prices.
Based on other reviews and my personal shopping experience, the prices are close to being on par with other grocery stores. Depending on where you live and what’s in season, there are a few items that cost much more through Amazon Fresh. But generally speaking, it seems to offer competitive overall pricing.
2. It offers more brands and product lines, but fewer off-brand options.
If you look through their products, you will find all your favorite brands and high-quality items that are available in other popular supermarkets. Since they work with local vendors, you will also have access to specialty product lines. And almost across the board, Amazon Fresh’s branded items are cheaper.
However, there are fewer off-brand options. While they do have their own brands like Happy Belly and Fresh with off-brand pricing, they won’t compare to other retailers who focus on budget-friendly lines.
3. They offer discounts and deals.
Like any other retailer, Amazon Fresh also has daily discounts and deals. You can select items that offer an immediate price reduction or browse through their clearance section to save even more.
4. You can expect reliable service.
When you order through Amazon, you know that your package and payment are safe. So when it comes to ordering through Amazon Fresh, you can expect the same reliable service for your food deliveries.
5. Delivery costs are on par with other major retailers.
Although this had been one of the most attractive features, Amazon Fresh changed its delivery fees in February. While you can still get free shipping for orders over $150, their delivery fees will vary based on the amount you spend.
- If you want 1-2 hour delivery for orders less than $50, the fee is $9.95.
- It increases to $6.95 for orders $50-$100.
- You only pay $3.95 if the amount is $100-$150.
6. Free delivery remains free.
For those who qualify for free delivery, there are no surprise fees. The app will set a default tip, but you can customize this if you wish. However, other online grocery vendors like Instacart tack on additional service fees. With Amazon Fresh, you know exactly how much you will pay for their services before check-out.
7. There’s no option for recurring deliveries.
For busy families like mine, recurring orders help save time and lift the mental load of grocery shopping. However, Amazon Fresh customers don’t have the option to set recurring deliveries. Although it isn’t available yet, many suspect that it will be in the future.
8. Its physical locations bring a whole new shopping experience.
When you visit an Amazon Fresh store, there are many distinct differences from the average supermarket. The first thing you should notice is the digital connection points through the store and parking lot. These allow for:
- curbside services
- access to your shopping list or existing cart
- assistance from Alexa to find specific products
- the option to skip the check-out line with your Dash cart
You won’t find these options with many other retailers.
9. It serves as an Amazon hub.
Most grocery stores are just that – stores that sell food, beverage, and household items. Some will have third-party vendors in the building as well. But, Amazon Fresh stores serve as a hub where you can send, receive, and return packages. For those who order several times a week, this saves a ton of time and trouble.
10. It isn’t accessible to everyone.
To use Amazon fresh you have to (1) have an Amazon Prime membership and (2) live in a city close to one of their stores. Currently, there are a limited number of locations, so it isn’t accessible to everyone.
Cost Comparison of Amazon Fresh vs Other Grocery Stores
Although Amazon Fresh is not available in my area yet, I wanted to see the savings for myself. So, I used the last address in my account which was near one of their stores. Then, I used a recent grocery list and compared it to one of the largest local competitors, Publix. Here’s what I found.
|Grocery Item||Amazon Fresh||Publix|
|1 loaf, wheat bread||$3.99||$4.41|
|5 lb. bag, white flour||$5.99||$6.19|
|4 lb. bag, granulated sugar||$3.39||$3.25|
|15.4 oz. box of Cheerios||$6.29||$7.27|
|½ gallon whole milk||$3.99||$3.91|
|1 dozen large eggs||$4.39||$5.53|
|1 lb. ground beef||$8.85||$7.55|
|1 lb. boneless chicken breasts||$7.99||$8.29|
|1 lb. bananas||$1.59||$0.77|
|1 lb. Honeycrisp apples||$1.69||$1.93|
|1 lb. grape tomatoes||$3.69||$4.53|
|1 lb. yellow onions||$0.99||$1.09|
|1 lb. Russet potatoes||$1.49||$1.79|
|14.5 oz. bag of Doritos||$5.99||$6.63|
|24-pack spring water||$7.99||$7.75|
Is Amazon Fresh Worth It?
If you are a Prime member and Amazon Fresh is available in your area, it is definitely worth looking into. Not only does it offer competitive pricing on most products, but it also has a great selection of brands and items. When you look at the final tallies, it shopping with Amazon Fresh vs other grocery stores may cost less if you make sure to reach their spending threshold for free delivery.
However, if you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership and don’t spend this much for every trip to the grocery store, it probably isn’t worth it. And, it’s not a great option when you need something now or prefer to pick out your own produce.
But, there will always be people who believe that their time is more valuable than the service fee they are willing to pay. If you’re interested in their services, sign into your Amazon account to determine if your zip code is eligible to start saving today.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.