Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members in select cities. Launched in Seattle in 2007, the service has expanded to major cities throughout the United States and select cities worldwide. Customers can choose from thousands of items, including produce, meat, seafood, snacks, and household essentials.

They can then schedule a two-hour delivery window, which is free with a minimum purchase of $50. Here we answer some commonly asked questions regarding Amazon Fresh's service, delivery locations, and costs.

Key Takeaways

  • Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members in major cities throughout the United States and certain cities worldwide.
  • Members receive free two-hour grocery delivery on Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market orders that meet the minimum purchase threshold.
  • Amazon Fresh is free to eligible Prime members in the United States.
  • Fresh Direct and Instacart are two competitors of Amazon Fresh.

How Does Amazon Fresh Work?

Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market deliveries are available for both free trial and paid Amazon Prime members.

Using Amazon Fresh is simple. Customers sign in to their Amazon Prime account or use the Fresh app to start shopping. They can choose unattended or attended delivery, and also designate a delivery time slot. With attended delivery, groceries are delivered in plastic bags and someone must be there to receive them. Unattended deliveries are dropped off at the customer's doorstep in temperature-controlled tote bags.

You can also use Alexa—Amazon's cloud-based voice service—to help with your shopping. Simply tell Alexa to add whatever you'd like to order to your Fresh cart. According to Amazon, the more you use Alexa to order your groceries the more helpful the system will become as it learns your preferences.

Where Does Amazon Fresh Deliver?

Amazon Fresh is available to Prime members in the following cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

In 2016, Amazon Fresh became available in London, and in 2017, Amazon expanded its Fresh service to Germany, delivering in Berlin, Hamburg, Potsdam, and Munich.

200 million

The number of paid Amazon Prime members worldwide as of spring 2021. 153 million are in the U.S. alone.

How Much Does Amazon Fresh Cost?

On Oct. 29, 2019, Amazon announced that Amazon Fresh would be free for Prime members in eligible regions of the United States. Prior to the change, Fresh cost $14.99 per month on top of the Prime membership fee.

Amazon Fresh should not be confused with the Grocery and Gourmet Foods section of Amazon.com. Although it often carries the same or similar items, the latter represents a variety of different sellers, and buying goods on it is like any Amazon purchase. Delivery times will vary, and some vendors offer free shipping to Prime members, while others don't.

In addition to eliminating the Fresh monthly membership fee in the U.S., Amazon combined the ordering sites for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain it acquired in 2017. Prime members also receive free delivery when ordering from Whole Foods.

In Germany, Prime members still have an additional monthly membership fee to use Fresh. However, in October 2019, Amazon reduced the fee for Fresh in Germany from 9.99 euros to 7.99 euros per month. For orders worth less than 40 euros, the delivery fee went from 5.99 euros to 3.99 euros. Prime members in Germany who don't want to sign up for a monthly Fresh membership can still use the service for 5.99 euros per delivery.

History and Competition

Amazon isn't the first company to dream up a fast grocery delivery service. Companies like Webvan and HomeGrocer started delivering food to hungry customers in the mid-1990s. While both of those companies are defunct, the demand for home delivery of groceries never truly faded. In fact, most brick-and-mortar supermarket chains, like Stop & Shop and Giant Foods, offer e-commerce and delivery services to their customers, while many other internet grocery businesses have emerged over the years.

Fresh Direct

Founded in 1999, Fresh Direct serves customers in New York City and surrounding areas, a number of counties in New Jersey, the greater Philadelphia area, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. A minimum of $30 is required for all orders. Those in the five NYC boroughs are charged a $5.99 delivery fee. Delivery fees range from $6.99 to $7.99 for people outside these areas. The service also delivers to the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons in the summer season with a $9.99 and $15.99 delivery fee respectively.

Instacart

You can shop using Instacart if you live in about 5,500 cities in the United States and Canada. The company, founded in 2012, is based in San Francisco and is partnered with more than 40,000 retail and grocery stores. Personal shoppers fulfill and deliver orders within your requested time frame.

The first order is always free. You can choose to sign up for Instacart Express, which costs $99 for the full year or $9.99 a month. This option allows you to receive free delivery for orders over $35.

Nonmembers pay a $3.99-minimum for orders over $35.

The Bottom Line

With an impressive infrastructure already established throughout America and same-day delivery available in certain markets, it seemed inevitable that Amazon would enter the grocery market. As long as Amazon Fresh has a record of good customer service and the backing of Amazon’s money, it's likely to be around for a long time.