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Amazon Grocery Delivery: How to Choose the Best Option for You

If the holiday was busy during a pandemic if you’re considering ordering groceries online, Amazon has several delivery services that can deliver everything you need to your home within two hours.

Prime members in more than 2,000 cities and towns can have more than 170,000 items delivered within two hours. And anyone who buys the site can order certain staples even without a Prime subscription. If you have an Alexa deviceyou can add groceries to your shopping cart and place an order using voice commands.

Read more: Does Amazon have the best price? Use these four tools to find out

But with lots of different options floating around the site ̵

1; including Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry, and plain old Prime – things can get confusing quickly.

We’ve broken down the five different ways you can order groceries through Amazon, how long the delivery will take, and any memberships and fees you might face.

You can also check our guides to the best alcohol delivery services, the best meal package delivery services and the best restaurant delivery apps.

Claudia Cruz / CNET

Price: Free shipping on orders over $ 35 for Prime members.

Thanks to the purchase of the Whole Foods Market supermarket chain in 2017, Amazon offers free delivery of Whole Foods items within two hours to Prime members who live in select areas (namely, those with Whole Foods nearby). You’ll find everything you’d normally find at Whole Foods on Amazon, including fresh produce, meat and seafood, and pantry staples.

If your order is over $ 35, you qualify for free two-hour delivery or free one-hour pickup from a Whole Foods store. If you want your groceries to be delivered within an hour, you will be charged a delivery fee based on your order total.

If you prefer to shop at Whole Foods and have a Prime membership, this is a super easy service. While Whole Foods products used to cost significantly more than comparable items from stores like Trader Joe’s and Target, prices seem to have dropped quite a bit since the chain was acquired by Amazon. Prime members who shop at a Whole Foods store also get an additional 10% off on sale items (excluding alcohol) and other deals throughout the store.

Whole Foods Market grocery delivery on Amazon is currently available in 2,000 cities and towns in the US.

James Martin / CNET

Price: Free shipping for Prime members on orders over $ 35 to $ 50 (region dependent).

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to some Prime members who live in a variety of cities, including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Houston, and Atlanta, as well as some international cities. While you will find some products from the Whole Foods 365 line, most of the groceries here come from Amazon’s vast warehouse facilities.

To find out if Fresh is available in your area, go to Amazon.com/Fresh and enter your zip code in the “Deliver to” field in the top left corner of the page.

Until 2019, Amazon Fresh was priced at $ 15 per month. But now it’s included with your Prime membership for $ 13 a month or $ 119 a year. Both paid Prime and Prime Student members are eligible to purchase Amazon Fresh, but Prime Video members are not. Amazon Fresh is currently available in 2000 cities and towns in the US.

There is one exception to the Prime membership rule: Customers who use a SNAP EBT card in a participating area get free access to the Amazon Fresh selection without a Prime membership, and get free delivery if they meet a certain price threshold.

If you qualify for Amazon Fresh, you can buy almost anything you find at your local grocery store, including fresh fruits and vegetables, cold cuts, cheese, canned goods, pantry staples, and household items.

With Amazon Fresh, delivery is free for orders that meet a certain threshold. Depending on the area, that’s a minimum of $ 35 or $ 50 excluding tax. If you don’t meet that price, you’ll be charged a shipping fee of $ 5 to $ 8 depending on how soon you want your order. Some cities also have a free pick-up option. Delivery can be as fast as two hours, or over a two-hour window that day or the next that fits into your schedule. Amazon will leave items at your doorstep or wherever you want.


Price: $ 6 delivery fee for non-Prime members, free delivery for orders over $ 35 for Prime members.

With Amazon Pantry, you can shop for a variety of grocery and household supplies in a variety of sizes, including snacks, beverages, cleaning and beauty products – including those from the Whole Foods 365 line. Pantry also has exclusive offers, coupons and promotions. It is only available to customers in the contiguous US. No membership is required to purchase Pantry.

The catch here is that if you’re a Prime member, you have to buy at least $ 35 worth of Pantry products to get free shipping (and non-Pantry Amazon items don’t count towards that minimum). The idea is to fill a box with Pantry orders instead of running to Target or Walmart. If you are a Prime member and spend less than $ 35, you will be charged a $ 6 shipping fee. Non-Prime shoppers must pay the $ 6 fee on their Pantry order regardless of how much they spend.

With Pantry and other Amazon grocery options, you will find some products labeled Subscribe and Save. You can set up regularly scheduled deliveries to get a discount of up to 15% when you receive five for more products in one automatic delivery to one address. Subscribe and Save products include toilet paper, diapers, laundry detergent, toothpaste and pet food. Cancel anytime.

One more caveat, even if you’re a Prime member, it can take up to four business days for your Pantry order to arrive, as Pantry boxes are shipped via ground shipping due to their size and weight.

Angela Lang / CNET

Price: Free shopping with possible delivery charges, or $ 13 per month for a Prime plan.

That’s right – you can order groceries through your regular old Amazon or Amazon Prime account, the same way you would any other product through the site. Under the Grocery & Gourmet Food category of the site, you’ll find non-perishable items such as water, candy, coffee, snacks, and kitchen items such as plastic wrap or trash bags. These products arrive in the same way as any other product you purchase through the site. Some offer the Subscribe and Save option for an additional discount.

From the Grocery & Gourmet landing page, you can narrow your search by specialty (such as gluten-free, organic, or kosher), calories per serving, fat calories per serving, and nutrition facts. You can also search by price, Prime eligibility, Pantry suitability, delivery time, brand, seller or reviews, or by categories, including alcoholic beverages, breakfast foods, and snacks. However, some categories (such as deli and ready meals or frozen foods) show options that are only available through Whole Foods.

Basically, the Grocery & Gourmet Food page is useful for finding non-perishables, but it’s also a repository for all of the other Amazon grocery delivery options.


Price: Free shopping with possible delivery charges, or $ 13 per month for a Prime plan.

A final grocery category on Amazon is part of Launchpad, the site’s showcase for startups. Amazon partners with entrepreneurs to provide resources and support for new products. In the Launchpad Food section of the site, you’ll find plenty of options for non-perishable products from companies you’ve probably never heard of. A quick look at the landing page reveals everything from specialty honey to protein bars to salmon skin chips to vitamin-packed coffee pods.

Launchpad probably isn’t where you’re going to grab a carton of milk and some Doritos, but you might find some interesting new specialty products or gift ideas.

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