Grocery Delivery in Philadelphia

Supermarket runs are for suckers. These days it’s all about delivery. So which online grocers are the best? We tried ’em all and ranked them based on ease of use, freshness and price. Here’s how they stack up.

$114.99 in groceries from Instacart. Photograph by Jason Varney

$114.99 in groceries from Instacart. Photograph by Jason Varney

FreshDirect

freshdirect.com
Score: 5 stars
The awesomeness of FD starts with the intuitive website and app and goes all the way to the next-day delivery, high-quality offerings (organic produce, black truffles, pre-chopped meal kits) and respected brands (Boar’s Head, La Colombe).
Zones: Greater Philadelphia region and South Jersey
Fees: $7.99 per order, or pay $119 a year for unlimited delivery.
Price Check: $3.99 for half a gallon of two percent organic milk

Instacart

instacart.com
Score: 4.5 stars
Instacart partners with local stores (Whole Foods, Reading Terminal Market, Super Fresh … ), sending staffers to shop and deliver the same day. The website and app are easy to use, although not ideal for huge orders. Instacart raises the prices on some goods.
Zones: Philadelphia and select suburbs
Fees: $3.99 for two-hour-plus delivery; $5.99 for one-hour delivery. $99 yearly for unlimited two-hour delivery (with a $35 minimum order).
Price Check: $3.49 for half a gallon of two percent organic milk (from Whole Foods)

Peapod

peapod.com
Score: 3 stars
Giant’s delivery service has polite drivers who will carry your goods into your kitchen. The prices are good, although the website and app interface feel outdated.
Zones: Philadelphia and most surrounding counties
Fees: $7.95 to $9.95 depending on order price, or $69 for six months of unlimited delivery.
Price Check: $3.89 for half a gallon of two percent organic milk




Door to Door Organics

doortodoororganics.com
Score: 2 stars
This service works like a CSA: Pick a box of seasonal fruits and/or veggies, then add on other groceries like meats, prepared foods and breads. DTD has high product standards, which is great in some respects (if you have allergies or care about organic things) but leaves holes in other cases (like, they don’t have English muffins). They only deliver locally on Mondays, and your produce box is actually a subscription, so it will arrive regularly if you don’t stay on top of managing it.
Zones: Philadelphia and select surrounding counties
Fees: Cost of delivery is built into the produce box; those prices start at around $26 a week.
Price Check: $4.29 for half a gallon of two percent organic milk

AmazonFresh

fresh.amazon.com
Score: Half a star
Available only to Prime members, the AmazonFresh selection is limited, and prepared foods come via partnerships with local establishments, which means pre-made chicken parm is a $20 version from Di Bruno Bros. The website is integrated with the larger Amazon site, so a search for “cookies” can yield a children’s book starring Cookie Monster. Best parts? You can get way more than groceries delivered (see: book), and they offer same-day options.
Zones: Philadelphia and many surrounding towns
Fees: Currently free for Prime members — a promotion available in certain zip codes for a certain amount of time (Amazon recently extended it through June). After the promotion ends, the annual cost will be $299 a year with a $50 minimum order.
Price Check: $4.49 for half a gallon of two percent organic milk

Originally published as “Market Research” in the April 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

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