Top 9 Grocery Delivery Service of 2021: Instacart, Shipt, Walmart Grocery, and more

Mar 19, 2021 | From The CEO

Listed within this article are the top 9 grocery delivery services of 2021 that could help you get food at home. Now, the top grocery delivery service would bring fresh produce, meat dairy, and pantry staples straight to your door, right? Being able to get groceries online, you can avoid having to squeeze yourself into crowded aisles of fruits and vegetables or even wait for a space in the parking lot! All with just a click of a button.

Steady Growth Out Of Necessity

As a part of the change that people have to go through because of COVID-19 and the government requiring social distancing and declaring a lockdown, delivery service for grocery items became a hit as it offers the convenience of doing your groceries while staying at home, especially to those in quarantine. 

With the pandemic still going, supermarkets are still considered essential and were still to open even with only the skeletal staff working. But having your groceries delivered at home is a big convenience to most people. The greatest service for grocery delivery offered fresh produce, meat, seafood, eggs, cheese, cold pre-packed meal kits, and foods. Some stores played safe and sold non-perishable items and food products that have a long shelf life such as pasta, canned goods, etc.

Considering the delivery fees and times, grocery delivery still works well for many people and households. One of the perks these grocery delivery services offer is having free delivery for those with memberships from their stores, though some groceries require a minimum order for this. For timing constraints, most groceries deliver within an hour depending on the drop off of delivery, some go for advanced orders and schedule their delivery the next day or somewhat later in the week. Also, to protect themselves, both the customer and the delivery guy, groceries offer a contactless delivery wherein payment is done online and the order will just be left outside the door.

Fresh and Fast

In the past years, online shopping has made a presence and became popular. Even more now with the pandemic, people buy almost everything online such as clothes, electronics, essentials such as groceries and toiletries. The best thing about delivery service for grocery items is that you can purchase everything the store has in stock and can be delivered right to your doorstep. Listing the best service for grocery delivery, our top two would be Amazon Fresh and Instacart, which is widely accessible and available across the United States. The two operate in different ways; Amazon Fresh consolidates your ordered items in ware, while Instacart hires a personal shopper for you to go to your local store and get what you need. Amazon Fresh and Instacart may be different but both offer almost everything essential nowadays such as a variety of goods – from fresh to meat and seafood, and non-perishable food products, etc.

Another factor to consider when listing the top grocery delivery services is their limitations; are they available in your area? Do they have a wide variety of goods to sell? In talks of delivery fees, nothing, in particular, is considered cheap, but convenience has a price. A grocery delivery service such as FreshDirect offers top-quality organic products but are expensive and low in stock. Peapod and Shipt only cater to a limited number of areas, but they offer great deals and discount coupons. For one to be the greatest grocery delivery service, it must consider the budget of its shoppers and find ways to help them save. If you are just looking for something to fill up your pantry and stock produce for emergencies, Google Shopping and Prime Pantry is just a click away.

Amazon Fresh is the best choice for those who are members of Amazon Prime to fulfill their regular, or weekly grocery shopping. For those who are not, Instacart is the way to go.

The Top 9 Grocery Delivery Services

Amazon Fresh

Amazon Fresh in its entirety is an online grocery store that comes free for Amazon Prime members now. Before it was just an add-on service. Amazon Fresh offers a wide variety of goods like an actual, physical grocery store; from fresh produce, meat, seafood, to household goods such as cleaning supplies to electronics, clothes, and even toys. Its user interface is identical to the rest of Amazon so customers won’t be confused when navigating through the website. It also has a similar concept – add items to your cart then checkout.

In terms of delivery time, Amazon Fresh can do it in a two-hour time for free with a required minimum order that varies depending on the area. Amazon Fresh can also get your delivery within an hour with a fee, and if you opt for advanced orders, you can schedule a time in advance. In some cities, your orders can be picked up for free. For budget-conscious shoppers, Amazon Fresh also offers coupons and deals to help you save.

Instacart

Instacart does not have a dedicated store to get their supplies but hires personal shoppers to go to your nearest store and buy the things you need for you. Costco and Sam’s Club allows Instacart shoppers, even without membership,  to buy from them but the rate of products will be a bit higher than the ones with membership. Instacart is not just limited to groceries, in some areas, you can order from liquor stores, pet stores, and even pharmacies. If your preferred item is unavailable, you can indicate substitutes or ask the shopper to contact you so you can discuss the alternative products. It offers easy GPS tracking as it gives you live updates regarding your shopper’s progress.

To get free two-hour delivery, your total order must cost over $35, and get an upgrade to Instacart Express. One of the perks of upgrading is that you can shop from multiple stores at the same time while if you’re not a member you would have to pay a fee starting from $3.99 which could change when there’s a surcharge during busy times of the day or on how fast do you want your delivery to get to you. Read about the Instacart promo codes, delivery fees, and start shopping with Instacart now.

Walmart Grocery

For most cities Walmart Grocery pickup and delivery is available. The service used to be only for same-day pick-up, but now they offer same-day delivery too. The app for grocery pickup and delivery is different from the main Walmart app, but there are already talks about merging the two apps.

You can buy everything from Walmart starting from essential food to non-food products for a reasonable price which makes it one of the top services for grocery delivery. And you can get different items from different categories all at the same time. Walmart also offers scheduling for your delivery where you can choose an open delivery window up to one week in advance. Signing up for their Delivery Unlimited package would also give you free shipping free which normally costs $7.95 depending on the location.

FreshDirect

FreshDirect caters to a few areas in the Northeast states, their service offers high-quality produce, meat, seafood, and other pantry staples. Innovating what they already have, FreshDirect also sells their own brand of meal packages such as Thanksgiving meals. Aside from food, FreshDirect also sells non-food products like fresh flowers, cleaning equipment, personal care products, and many more. They are known for having top-notch and organic products – which also means that their products are limited and a wee bit higher than usual.

FreshDirect has a sister grocery delivery service named Food Kick available in New York that offers same-day shipping. During the summers, FreshDirect opens its services to more areas specifically the Jersey Shore and Hamptons. It is already established that their fees are high, area-specific, but wanting to get the greatest quality grocery would come to a price.

Peapod

Though Peapod is not available in many regions as of now, it actually is one of the pioneer top grocery delivery. As limited as the regions they cover, they recently pulled out of the Midwest and Washington D.C. area. Peapod has various products to offer and you can get your standard groceries from them like fresh vegetables and fruit, meat, dairy, and pantry staples. They also make and sell their own brand of meal packages. For budget-conscious shoppers, Peapod can help you save and be thrifty, offering coupons up to $0.99 doubling the manufacturers’. Don’t forget to sign up for their emails, to not miss out on special deals.

Signing up for Peapod gives you a great deal already – you get to save $20 off your first order and get a 60-day free delivery pass by using the promo code 60DAYSFREE. If you have used up this promo code, you can still get free delivery for orders over $100, on the other hand, orders below $100’s delivery fees vary on the day and time you choose.

Google Shopping

Google Shopping, used to be Google Express, is a centralized variety of stores (including Target) that mostly offers non-perishable goods. It is just like a combination of Prime Pantry and Instacart minus the personal shopper. Just like any other shop with membership, like Costco, if you order via Google Shopping you would pay a premium price that is usually higher than the regular rates that members actually pay. The free shipping would depend on the store and if you meet the minimum order minimum.

Delivery lead time would usually depend on the store. It can go from same-day shipping from FedEx and UPS to receiving your items after a day or more. Google Shopping has various products including the standard pantry essentials like food, pasta, canned vegetables, etc. While in some areas, non-refrigerated vegetables and fruit and fresh flowers are available for order.

Shipt

Shipt, like Instacart, uses a personal shopper to buy your needs but requires you to sign up for a membership with free shipping for orders totaling $35 and above. The regular shipping fee would be $7. Compared to other best delivery service for grocery items, Shipt has a minimal and limited coverage area but still delivers convenience with decent prices. To help you save up, Shipt promotes weekly sales, coupons, and deals such as buy-one-get-one-free making it a budget-friendly grocery store.

The personal shopper on Shipt will buy the items that you need from your list and run to different local stores like Kroger, Target, and CVS. Alcohol can even be acquired in a couple of areas. Similarly to Instacart, if your preferred item is out of stock, the shopper will contact you for your second choice of product. The orders can get to you within an hour or have a scheduled delivery two weeks from when you need them.

Prime Now

Having to buy Whole Foods’ fresh produce, meat, cheese, and prepared foods and Amazon’s goods including the groceries (similar to the ones from Amazon Fresh) and other items such as electronics, clothing, and other suppliers in one would be a good definition of what Prime Now is. Though the two storefronts would go into separate carts upon checking out, you can still choose your preferred time of delivery such as receiving your grocery in two-hours or in some cases one-hour.

Prime Now and Amazon Fresh differ from the goods they offer. It’s just that Amazon Fresh sells Whole Food 365 branded items only and not their groceries. Despite this difference, it would not be a shock if these two would merge in the future as they are very similar in context.

Prime Pantry

Note: Sadly, due to coronavirus-related demand, Prime Pantry is shut down and no longer accepting orders.

Similar to Amazon Fresh, Prime Pantry was free for Amazon Prime members. The only difference was that Prime Pantry offered non-perishable household goods that have a long shelf life like pasta, cereal, snacks, cleaning supplies, and pet food; while Amazon Fresh does have fresh groceries. Also, Prime Pantry allowed bulk buying and buying in smaller portions, like buying one box of cereal or a fun-sized snack. Prime Pantry was considered to be one of the top services for grocery delivery especially to those who prefer stocking up household goods to prepare for a natural disaster or city/state lockdown like the recent coronavirus pandemic.

A membership in Prime Pantry used to cost $4.99 monthly. Members enjoyed free delivery with a minimum order of $10. For non-members, the total order for free delivery was $35. The actual delivery fee was around 5.99%. Deliveries by Prime Pantry took up to four business days and made it to our list as one of the slower delivery services for grocery items. But again, due to its shutdown, we hope the service would be available again one day.

How to choose the best grocery delivery service for you

To know what the top grocery delivery service for you is, you first should consider the city or area you are living in. 

This list of grocery delivery could be handy for you to find out what the greatest grocery delivery service for you is. After visiting these links, input your zip code or address information to see which grocery delivery service caters to your address.

Amazon Fresh (check availability)

Walmart Grocery (check availability)

Instacart (check availability)

FreshDirect (check availability)

Peapod (check availability)

Google Shopping (check availability)

Shipt (check availability)

Amazon Prime Now (check availability)

Amazon Prime Pantry (unavailable)

After determining what grocery delivery service is available in your area, the next factor to consider is what you are planning to buy. For fresh produce and meat, Amazon Fresh, Walmart Grocery, Instacart, FreshDirect, Peapod, Shipt, or Amazon Prime Now would be your top choices. If you are only going to buy non-perishables, Google Shopping or Prime Pantry are the ones for you.

Another factor is the quality of groceries that you want. We recommend FreshDirect or Prime Now (for Whole Foods produce) for organic produce. If you have a preferred shop, go with Instacart or Shipt. Pre-made meal packages could be bought via Peapod and FreshDirect, too. While low prices could be found at Walmart Grocery.

Grocery delivery alternatives

As these services for grocery delivery on our list are getting so much demand, there might be difficulties in finding slots for delivery and delays in delivery.

To meet the people’s demands and adjust to the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses and enterprises start to offer other goods that they can. For example, Panera not only delivers what’s on their usual menu but also offers other essentials like milk, fruit, and vegetables – also their signature bead items. The prices are competitively similar to those found in the supermarket.

Nuro, a self-driving startup, has been approved to test their driverless delivery robots in California. These driverless delivery robots have already been tested in Arizona and Texas and will be expanding into nine Bay Area cities. These robots can only deliver groceries, take-out orders, laundry, etc. to close within the short-range area. Nevertheless, if you’re within the scope, Nuro’s robots can deliver your orders right to your doorstep.