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Amazon’s online ordering options compared: Prime vs. Fresh vs. Whole Foods



If it is ongoing pandemic avoiding your crowds and wanting to order groceries online, Amazon has several grocery delivery services that can deliver everything you need to your door 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 shops 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, and plain old Prime – things can quickly get confusing. Additionally, the Amazon Pantry grocery and household goods subscription service was rolled out on the main Amazon.com store in early January, so you no longer have to pay an additional fee to stock those items, an Amazon representative confirmed.

We’ve broken down the four different ways you can order groceries through Amazon, how long 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 at 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’ll 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 costs $ 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 using 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 time slot that day or the next that suits your schedule. Amazon will leave items at your doorstep or wherever you want.

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 eligibility, lead 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.

Amazon

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 works with entrepreneurs to provide resources and support for new products. In the Launchpad Food section of the site, you’ll find lots 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 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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