Should you switch your weekly shop to Amazon Fresh?Our verdict on Amazon’s new grocery service
11 July 2016
Amazon has launched a new fresh-food delivery service called Amazon Fresh. We’ve taken it for a test-drive to see how it compares to the supermarkets.
Amazon Fresh is currently only available to some London postcodes, and only Amazon Prime members can sign up.
After a 30-day free trial it costs £6.99 a month on top of your Prime membership (which costs £79 a year, and gives you access to a range of additional Amazon services such as video streaming and unlimited next day delivery). So what do you get for your money?
Amazon claims that Fresh offers 'everything you need for your weekly shop' and the range of items available does seem to be fairly comprehensive.
The fresh food includes fruit, veg, meat, seafood and dairy. There are also sections for frozen food, household, health and beauty items, and store cupboard essentials such as rice, pasta and sauces. It stocks branded products, some Morrisons own-brand items, and also some own-label products, such as steaks sold under the name Herdsman. You can even order from selected local shops – we got some cakes from London bakery Gail’s.
Shopping on Amazon Fresh
The layout of the site will be familiar to anyone who’s bought books, electricals or anything else from Amazon, with the products laid out in a grid format and the individual product pages also sporting a familiar look.
Searching for products is done in the same way. Our searches usually returned the right results - although when searching for Flora; perfume, vitamin formula and cranberry capsules were the top results, ahead of the spread.
Adding products to your basket is done with a single click, and when they’re added they’re listed on the right side of the screen, along with the total cost of the basket. Placing your order only takes a couple of clicks. You choose a one-hour delivery slot, with same-day delivery available if you order before 1pm. Delivery is free on orders over £40.
Customers can leave reviews for any of the foods, although this feature seems to be having a few teething troubles. Two reviews were listed for a loaf of Warburtons white bread, but both appeared to actually be for an album by a musician called Mark Schultz.
There’s a ‘freshness guarantee’ on each fresh product which tells you the minimum number of days that you’ll have to consume it before the manufacturer's recommended use by or best before date.
Amazon Fresh vs other supermarkets
The monthly cost suggests that Amazon Fresh is competing with 'delivery passes' offered by other supermarkets, where you pay a fee in exchange for reduced delivery charges and other benefits.
Sainsbury's Anytime Delivery Pass costs £20 for three months or £60 for a year. Similarly, Tesco's Delivery Saver Anytime costs £6 a month or £60 a year, and Asda's Anytime Delivery Pass costs £8 a month or £60 a year. Like Amazon Fresh, all three services offer free delivery on orders over £40.
Ocado's Smart Pass Anytime offers free delivery on all orders. We were quoted £6.99 a month or £69.99 a year to add Smart Pass to our Ocado account, reduced from the normal cost of £10.99 a month or £109.99.
Our verdict on Amazon Fresh
If you’re a Prime member, Fresh is certainly worth sampling when it comes to your area. But the monthly fee means it's probably only worth it for those who are happy to order regularly.
While we found it slightly easier to use than the supermarkets' sites, it doesn't have a unique selling point that sets it apart from the crowd, aside from the fact you can order from some independent shops.
So whether or not it's worth choosing Amazon Fresh over the supermarkets' delivery passes will depend on the price of its products. While Amazon Fresh's prices were very competitive on the products we bought, that will need to continue if it's to be worthy of £6.99 a month.