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Amazon Fresh is an online service that delivers groceries and home essentials to your doorstep.
Available only to Amazon Prime members in select cities, Amazon Fresh is targeted toward individuals who are looking to save time on food shopping.
This article reviews Amazon Fresh, including its pros and cons, how it works, how much it costs, and how it compares with other grocery delivery services.
Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Student members in select cities.
Note that even if you’re a current Prime member, you do not automatically have access to Amazon Fresh. Members need to receive or request an invitation before they can use the service.
Once you have access to Amazon Fresh, simply sign in to your account in the app or online and start adding items to your shopping cart.
Shoppers have access to over 500,000 products, including fresh produce, meat and seafood, dairy products, canned and prepackaged goods, and even home essentials like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
When you checkout, you choose a date and 2-hour delivery window. Amazon Fresh then packages items at an Amazon fulfillment center and delivers them directly to your door. A pickup option may also be available, depending on the region.
Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service that’s available in select cities. You place orders online, and the company delivers them directly to your home.
Currently, Amazon Fresh subscriptions are free for Amazon Prime members.
However, there’s a $10 delivery fee on orders under $35 or $50, depending on where you live.
The service also automatically adds a 10% tip to every order. You can adjust this at checkout, though this isn’t immediately obvious during the ordering process.
In general, food and product costs on Amazon Fresh tend to be more expensive than they are at most large grocery store chains.
However, when compared with specialty food stores like Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh prices tend to be similar or lower.
If you’re concerned about finding the best deals, Amazon Fresh does include the price per unit next to each item. This may make cost comparisons easier.
Amazon Fresh is free for Amazon Prime members, but there are delivery fees for smaller orders. Prices at Amazon Fresh are about the same as or less than those at specialty stores but generally higher than prices at large grocery store chains.
Amazon Fresh may be a good option for Prime members, as it’s convenient and offers a large variety of products to choose from.
Because there’s no extra subscription fee, Amazon Fresh is a convenient option for existing Prime members to get their food shopping done without having to spend time at the grocery store.
Currently, customers have the option of attended delivery, in which you’re required to be home to accept the delivery.
Alternatively, you can choose doorstep delivery, and your groceries will be dropped off at your front door in temperature-regulating bags to help prevent food from spoiling.
Depending on where you live, you may also have a third option for in-person pickup, usually at a Whole Foods Market location.
When placing your order, you can choose the most convenient day and 2-hour window for your food to be delivered.
While same-day delivery is available in many locations, available delivery times can vary depending on the time of day your order is placed and the volume of orders in your area.
In general, the earlier in the day you place an order, the more likely you’ll have the option to receive your groceries that same day.
You can also easily change or cancel your order as long as the company has not yet prepared it.
Finally, to make your food shopping even faster, the service saves your purchase history. This enables you to easily rebuy foods you frequently order without having to search for them each time.
Another benefit is that Amazon Fresh offers more than 500,000 products to choose from.
In addition to large nationwide brands, customers have access to Amazon brands and Whole Foods Market products, including the company’s 365 line. You will even find local and seasonal products that are available only in your region.
When it comes to the types of products, essentially anything that you would find at a large chain grocery store is available on Amazon Fresh. This includes fresh produce, dairy and nondairy alternatives, meat and seafood, packaged items, and frozen foods.
There’s even a large selection of organic items for those who prefer to buy organic.
In addition to food, you can purchase household and personal care items, such as dish soap, paper towels, shampoo and conditioner, and diapers.
However, some items cannot be bought via Amazon Fresh. In particular, the service does not offer the option to buy in bulk. Also, Amazon Fresh only offers alcoholic beverages in certain cities.
Accepts SNAP EBT cards
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a system that allows individuals receiving assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to pay for food.
Individuals on SNAP can use a valid EBT card to pay for groceries on Amazon Fresh. Furthermore, those with a SNAP EBT card do not have to have a Prime membership to use this delivery service.
It’s important to note that you may only buy certain brands and types of items using a SNAP EBT card.
For example, most food items, including bread, baby food, frozen and fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, are eligible.
However, you cannot use an EBT card to purchase household supplies, personal care items, and childcare items, like diapers, on Amazon Fresh.
The benefits of Amazon Fresh include its convenience and large variety of products. Shoppers with SNAP EBT cards can use them to pay for eligible items.
Amazon Fresh comes with some potential downsides that you should consider when choosing a grocery delivery service.
One of the main downsides of Amazon Fresh is the cost.
Unless you have a SNAP EBT card, you have to be a Prime member to use the service. Currently, a membership costs $119 per year or $12.99 per month, depending on whether you choose a monthly or annual subscription.
Prime members receive additional benefits. However, if you only plan on using your membership to order groceries on Amazon Fresh, you’re better off choosing a delivery service that does not have a subscription fee.
It’s also not a great option if you only need one or two items, as there’s a delivery fee for orders under $35 or $50, depending on your location.
Additionally, there are very few budget items, and you cannot purchase items in bulk. As a result, if you typically shop at stores like Aldi or Costco, Amazon Fresh will be a more expensive option.
However, for those who are used to shopping at specialty grocery stores, such as Whole Foods Market, using Amazon Fresh may save you money on groceries.
You cannot choose substitute items yourself
Another potential downside is that you cannot choose substitutions for items that are not currently available.
Whereas some delivery services let you choose which item you would like if a product is currently out of stock, Amazon Fresh chooses the replacement item for you.
Finally, the service packages foods to prevent damage or spoiling, so they come with quite a bit of packaging material.
While you can recycle some of the packaging, including the brown paper bags, other materials are either not recyclable or need to be taken to special drop-off locations.
Amazon Fresh is an expensive option if you’re not already a Prime member. It also does not allow you to choose product substitutions, and not all of the packaging materials are easy to recycle.
There are many grocery delivery service options. Some are available nationwide and others are regional.
Here are two competitors to Amazon Fresh that provide services nationwide.
Instacart is a well-known delivery service similar to Amazon Fresh. You can place orders online and Instacart will have them delivered right to your door.
With Instacart, personal shoppers fulfill your order at the grocery store of your choice.
One of the main benefits of Instacart compared with Amazon Fresh is you do not need a membership to use it. However, if you sign up for their $99 annual membership, the company waives the $3.99 delivery fee for orders over $35.
While Instacart offers same-day delivery, depending on how busy the service is, you can also schedule delivery windows several days out.
Furthermore, unlike Amazon Fresh, Instacart only shows per-unit prices once you click on an item, making it more difficult to compare prices.
Another option is Walmart Grocery. If you live near a participating store, Walmart Grocery makes it easy to purchase groceries at reduced prices without leaving your house. As with Instacart, you place orders online, and a personal shopper selects them in the store.
Walmart Grocery offers more budget options than Amazon Fresh. It will also have your personal shopper contact you if any of your requested products are unavailable so that you can choose a replacement item.
There’s a minimum order of $30 and delivery fee of up to $10, depending on where you live. However, delivery is free for those with a Delivery Unlimited membership, which costs $98 per year.
While many grocery delivery services are just as easy and convenient to use, Amazon Fresh stands out for its large variety of products and access to exclusive Amazon and Whole Foods Market products.
Instacart and Walmart Grocery are two main competitors to Amazon Fresh. The companies differ in terms of item pricing, delivery and subscription fees, and more.
You may be wondering how Amazon Fresh compares with Amazon’s two other food delivery services — Prime Pantry and Prime Now.
Unlike Amazon Fresh, Prime Pantry does not deliver perishable goods, such as fresh produce or raw poultry. Instead, it allows Prime members to order packaged pantry staples like cereal or granola bars in bulk.
Because Prime Pantry ships items in one large order, you can also order products in everyday package sizes, such as a single box of tea or can of soup. You can also purchase household items like cleaning supplies.
While the service is free with a Prime membership, non-Prime members can get a Prime Pantry subscription for $4.99 per month. Unlike with Amazon Fresh, orders ship via conventional ground shipping via carriers like FedEx and typically arrive within 1–4 days.
Prime Now is more similar to Amazon Fresh in that you can order perishable and nonperishable items. It’s also free for Prime members and has a $4.99 delivery fee for orders under $35.
However, unlike Amazon Fresh, Prime Now products come from local retailers and even restaurants, to get you the items you need within 2–3 hours.
Prime Now also differs in the types of products available, which include groceries, as well as non-food items like electronics, pet food, diapers, and party supplies. You can also order meals from participating restaurants.
While it offers fewer items to choose from, Prime Now is a good option for times when you need just a few last-minute items.
Several services are similar to Amazon Fresh, including Instacart and Walmart Grocery. Prime Pantry or Prime Now may also be good alternatives, depending on the type and amount of items you are looking to buy.
Amazon Fresh is a convenient grocery delivery service with a large variety of grocery, household, and personal care items to choose from.
It can be a good way for current Amazon Prime members to get healthy foods delivered directly to their doorstep, saving them time during the week.
However, to get the service you need to be a Prime member, so it’s not a great option for those who otherwise wouldn’t sign up for a membership.
Additionally, if you regularly buy items in bulk, you may be better off shopping at stores like Costco or ordering nonperishable items from Prime Pantry.