Amazon has added another perk to its loyalty program and this one’s big: Amazon Fresh grocery delivery and pickup service is now free for Prime members.
The freebie offer is the latest of several changes that Amazon has made to its Fresh service over the years. This time, the company is betting that more people will sign up for the convenience of getting grocery orders delivered free to their door.
If you haven’t already signed up for the service, here are five things to know about Amazon Fresh:
1. What Is Amazon Fresh?
Amazon Fresh is a U.S. grocery delivery and pickup service that operates mainly with Whole Foods Market, which Amazon owns. If you’re outside the country, Amazon Fresh is also available with other grocery chains.
The service has changed a bit through the years. An Amazon Fresh subscription was once as high as $299 annually. Later, the cost of the service dropped to $14.99 per month ($179.88/year) for Prime members.
Because it was billed separately, Prime members had to pay for Amazon Fresh on top of their annual $119 membership. But that’s all in the past now — with a Prime membership, grocery delivery is free.
Orders under $35 will incur a delivery fee, Amazon says.
Amazon Fresh has historically been available in select cities, but more on that later.
2. How Does Amazon Fresh Work?
Several members of Team Clark have Prime memberships and have used Amazon Fresh. Here’s how it works:
Once you log in, you can begin shopping! All you have to do is choose your items and select a date, time and delivery option.
“You can choose to be present at the time of the delivery or have Amazon leave the items at your doorstep,” says Team Clark’s Michael Timmermann, a Prime and Amazon Fresh member.
3. What’s There to Choose From With Amazon Fresh?
You may be wondering what kinds of foods are available. Just as if you were at the supermarket, there are all types of produce, meats, seafood and snacks available, as well as household items.
Some top Amazon categories are:
Food: Whole Foods products, dairy, meat, seafood, produce, prepared foods, meal kits, beverages, breads, snacks, etc.
Personal Care, Health & Beauty: Items related to skin care, cosmetics, baby products can be headed to your home with the click of a button.
Local & Seasonal: Local products like honey and picked vegetables as well as favorites from your region are available to be delivered to your door with the rest of your Amazon Fresh order.
If you choose to have your merchandise delivered on your doorstep, the service also seems to take good care of your stuff by making sure it’s wrapped well and insulated.
“I was really impressed with how carefully Amazon packed my groceries,” Michael says. “Refrigerated items had multiple ice packs and there was dry ice to keep frozen items at the proper temperature.”
Here’s how his Amazon Fresh order arrived:
4. Where Is Amazon Fresh Available?
Amazon Fresh has traditionally been available in select cities, but now the service is expanding. Amazon says that Prime members in about 2,000 cities and towns have access to the service. And if you aren’t already a member, you can sign up for it here.
Another Team Clark member with Prime says that right after the announcement that Amazon Fresh was now free she went online to sign up for the service and it wasn’t immediately available due to an apparent wait list.
If you’re in that group, when you click the invitation link, here’s what you’ll see:
You can see if the service is available in your area by adding your ZIP code to this link.
5. How Are Amazon Fresh’s Food Prices?
Compared to retailers like Costco and Aldi, Amazon Fresh appears to be on the pricey side. That makes sense given Whole Foods’ customer base.
Check out some of Amazon Fresh’s prices for delivery in Atlanta, as of October 2019:
- Bananas, 1 bunch (min. 5 ct.): $1.09
- Organic Blackberries, 6 oz: $3.50
- Hass Avocado, 1 Lg: $1.00
- 365 Everyday Value, Organic Baby Spinach, 5 oz: $1.99
- Yellow Onion, 1 Lg: $0.53
- 85% Lean Ground Beef, 1 lb: $5.59
- Just Bare All Natural Fresh Chicken, Hand-Trimmed, Boneless, Skinless, Breast Fillets, 1.0 lb: $5.99
- Nature’s Own, Honey Wheat Bread, 20 oz: $2.88
- Happy Belly Cage-Free, Large, White Eggs, 1 Dozen: $2.48
- 365 Everyday Value, Cage-Free, Non-GMO Large Brown Eggs, 1 Dozen: $2.99
- 365 Everyday Value, Unsalted Butter, 16 oz: $3.49
- 365 Everyday Value, Organic Coconut Unsweetened, 13.5 fl oz: $1.99
- Honey Nut Cheerios, Gluten-Free, Cereal With Oats, 10.8 oz: $2.79
You can save money if you look for the sale items on the “Fresh Deals” page. Items with orange labels under them show you how much you save.
Now that Amazon Fresh is free for Prime members, you can expect more of them to take advantage of the service to get their groceries delivered. While not as popular, the pickup option could see an uptick as well.
For people who aren’t in Amazon’s loyalty program, the convenience of having groceries and other items delivered to your home for free should make Prime even more of a hit in the cities where it’s available.