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FreshDirect is a grocery delivery service that offers a variety of prepared foods and fresh ingredients.
With delivery available in many cities across the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, FreshDirect has become popular among consumers who want to schedule specific delivery times.
However, FreshDirect has several downsides and may not be right for everyone.
This article takes a closer look at FreshDirect, including how it works and whether it’s worth a try.
- offers a variety of fresh and fully prepared products
- convenient alternative to grocery shopping
- provides scheduled delivery to ensure freshness
- may be more expensive than grocery stores
- limited selection of organic and specialty ingredients
- available only in select areas
FreshDirect is a service that delivers groceries directly to your door.
The company offers a wide range of products, including:
- baked goods
- frozen foods
- alcoholic beverages
After placing your order, you can schedule your delivery up to 1 week in advance. Same-day delivery is also available in select areas as long as orders are placed before certain cutoff times.
In some areas, FreshDirect offers you the option of “Unattended Delivery,” meaning they’ll leave your bags on your doorstep instead of handing them straight to you. In other areas, you’ll need to be home to accept your delivery or need authorize someone else (like your doorman or a neighbor) to receive your delivery.
Delivery fees depend on your location. You’ll have to pay the delivery fee for each order unless you’re a member of DeliveryPass, a FreshDirect service that offers unlimited home deliveries for a monthly fee.
If you prefer, you can pick up your delivery at FreshDirect’s Bronx, New York, location.
Currently, FreshDirect only delivers to select counties in just three states:
- New York: Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Nassau, Queens, Rockland, Staten Island, Suffolk, and Westchester
- New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, and Union counties
- Connecticut: Fairfield county
During the summer, they also deliver to the Hamptons and the Jersey shore.
FreshDirect features an extensive selection of products, including both fresh and fully prepared ingredients.
Products are organized based on food categories, which include:
- meat and seafood
- prepared foods
- party platters
- frozen foods
- beer and cider
- wine and spirits
Furthermore, the company offers numerous household items, such as flowers, pet food, cleaning supplies, pantry staples, and drugstore products.
FreshDirect carries many brands and products, with plenty of options available to fit your personal preferences.
For example, you can filter products to display only organic, kosher, gluten-free, or locally sourced ingredients. You can also search for specific products like grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, or free-range eggs.
In some cases, unavailable or sold-out products may be upgraded or replaced with a product of equal or greater value at no cost to you.
FreshDirect provides customer service assistance if you’re dissatisfied with any substitutions to your order.
FreshDirect claims to provide fresh, high quality products and ingredients.
All orders are filled the night prior to your delivery day, which may help maximize their freshness. Plus, the company lets you select your delivery time slot to ensure that you or someone else is available to receive your order.
Refrigerated products remain fresh in the delivery bags for up to 2 hours after delivery, while frozen foods should be stored in the freezer immediately.
Unlike most other grocery delivery services, most FreshDirect orders are delivered in reusable tote bags.
After receiving your delivery, you can either reuse or discard these bags. Currently, FreshDirect is unable to collect bags after delivery.
This may be an important consideration for eco-conscious consumers, especially if you prefer using recyclable materials like paper bags or boxes.
FreshDirect delivers products from its own grocery facility.
Prices vary, but most items are slightly more expensive than their equivalents in traditional grocery stores.
For example, 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of whole milk costs $5.19 on FreshDirect. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average price for this amount of conventional whole milk in the United States is currently $4.41 (1).
This means that whole milk on FreshDirect is approximately 18% more expensive than at your average grocery store.
For most areas, FreshDirect also mandates a minimum order amount of $30 for home delivery. Delivery fees range from $5.99 to $15.99 and are determined based on your location.
Alternatively, you can join DeliveryPass, a FreshDirect service that offers free unlimited delivery with reserved time slots. Membership costs $6.50–$13.17 per month depending on your delivery preferences.
Several other grocery delivery services compete with FreshDirect.
For instance, Instacart offers grocery delivery and pickup from local stores. Yet, while FreshDirect manages its own grocery facility, Instacart allows you to order products from their partner retailers.
Shipt likewise provides both pickup and delivery from local and national retailers. Like Instacart, Shipt offers delivery of household items, including office products, kitchenware, and pet supplies.
Amazon Fresh is another competitor that offers 2-hour grocery delivery for members of Amazon Prime. This service features a wide array of brands and products, including groceries, household supplies, tools, and personal care products.
Unlike FreshDirect, all three of these services are available in many cities throughout the United States. Most also offer same-day delivery for a wider range of locations than FreshDirect.
FreshDirect may be a good choice for those looking to order their weekly groceries within specific time slots.
Although it’s slightly more expensive than traditional grocery stores, the company offers convenience and a wide range of products. Yet, the selection of certain items — including organic or specialty items — may be limited.
Additionally, FreshDirect currently only delivers to a few select regions, including certain areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
You can check the company website to determine whether delivery is available in your area.
Is FreshDirect owned by Amazon?
No. Amazon’s grocery delivery service is called Amazon Fresh.
Do most people tip FreshDirect?
According to FreshDirect, you don’t have to tip. However, you can tip if you want to.
Does FreshDirect take back bags?
No. The reusable bags your FreshDirect order comes in are yours to keep.
FreshDirect is a grocery delivery service available in select U.S. states. The company maintains its own shipping facilities and lets you select specific drop-off times.
For those who don’t mind spending a bit more on groceries and delivery, FreshDirect is a quick and convenient alternative to regular grocery shopping.
However, it may not be suitable for everyone due to its limited selection and small geographic reach.