Ocado is an online-only grocer, the only company in our supermarkets survey other than Amazon Fresh not to have any bricks-and-mortar stores.
Is Ocado's online delivery service any good?
In our latest supermarkets survey, 159 Ocado customers rated the online retailer on everything from delivery slots and drivers to the quality of its food and value for money. This enabled us to work out star ratings for different factors as well as an overall customer score.
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|Ease of navigating the website or app|
|Range of stock|
|Availability of delivery slots that are convenient to me|
|Supermarket's choice of substitute items|
|Overall quality of own-label and fresh products|
|Freshness of perishable items|
|Availability of products with recyclable/no packaging|
|Value for money|
How does Ocado work?
Having been set up as an online-only grocer right from the start (it was founded in 2000), Ocado arguably has a technological edge over its competitors.
These days it even uses robots to pick and pack some shopping. Designed to mimic the human hand, the bots whizz around on gridded tracks and use their grippers to collect the items in your order. They know the weight, size and shape of different products, and are programmed to put heavy items at the bottom, meaning less chance of your bottles and cans squashing your fruit and bread.
Ocado claims that being able to avoid using stores, where other shoppers might buy the items you ordered online, makes the supply chain shorter and more tightly controlled.
How safe is Ocado in the pandemic?
Ocado has put a number of COVID-19 measures in place to keep its customers safe. At the time of publishing this page (Feb 2021), all its drivers wear face coverings and put your groceries on your doorstep rather than bringing them inside.
You can return items from your current order, but not previous ones, at the door as long as you haven't touched them. If you don't want substitutions but have already touched them you can claim a refund online.
You can't currently return carrier bags for recycling.
Ocado in the news
In July 2020, Ocado started accepting new customers again after stopping in March, just before the first lockdown, when it was unable to cope with the sudden increase in demand.
Despite its problems during the pandemic, Ocado was the fastest-growing retailer from November 2020 to January 2021, with sales up by 36.6% compared to the previous year according to Kantar.
From 1 September 2020 Ocado started selling food and drink instead of the -branded products it's best known for. However, some have criticised the fact that items can be priced differently in M&S stores and the Ocado website ().
Ocado's plastic packaging
In April 2019, we investigated how much supermarket plastic packaging is recyclable. We ordered 46 of the most popular own-brand items from 11 major UK supermarket chains and found 52% of Ocado's packaging, by item, was widely recyclable at the kerbside.
We also looked into how accurately the packaging in our basket was labelled for recycling advice. We found 44% of Ocado packaging was correctly labelled. See how Ocado compared to other supermarkets and find out more about
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