Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members in selected cities. Initially 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. Here we answer some commonly asked questions regarding Amazon Fresh's service, delivery locations, and costs.
- Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service available to Amazon Prime members in major cities throughout the United States and selected cities worldwide.
- Customers receive free two-hour grocery delivery on Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market orders that meet the local two-hour delivery threshold.
- On Oct. 29, 2019, Amazon announced it was eliminating the $14.99 monthly Amazon Fresh membership fee, making membership free to eligible Prime members in the United States.
History and Competition
It may be surprising, but Amazon is not the first company to dream up a fast grocery delivery service. Since the mid-1990s, companies like Webvan and HomeGrocer have been delivering food to hungry customers. While both companies are long defunct, the demand for home delivery of groceries never truly faded. Today, most brick-and-mortar grocery stores will offer delivery service. Many other Internet grocery businesses have emerged over the years. Three major competitors to Amazon Fresh are Fresh Direct, Peapod, and Instacart.
Where Does Amazon Fresh Deliver?
Amazon Fresh is available to Prime members in these 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 2017, Amazon expanded its Fresh service to Germany, delivering in Berlin, Hamburg, Potsdam, and Munich.
The number of paid Amazon Prime members worldwide as of Jan. 2020.
How Does Amazon Fresh Work?
Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market deliveries are available for Prime members by invitation only. You can go to Amazon's website and sign up for an invitation with or without a Prime membership. Amazon will contact you once you're able to shop. If you're not already a Prime member, you'll need to sign up in order to purchase through Amazon Fresh.
Using Amazon Fresh is simple: Customers log in to their Amazon Prime account or use the Fresh app to start shopping. Consumers can choose an “Attended Delivery,” where groceries are delivered in plastic bags and must be received by the consumer, or an “Unattended Delivery,” where the food is delivered to a consumer’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.
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.
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, making it easier for customers to place their orders. 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 Oct. 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.
The Bottom Line
Amazon is a successful company that is almost impossible to avoid. 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.