When Amazon overtook Walmart as the world’s largest retailer, it was a watershed moment for the company, a testament to its growth and its reach.
Instacart has a similar story, as it was founded in 2012 and less than a decade later had come to dominate the grocery delivery market. But what happens when the two go head-to-head?
Amazon Fresh is the digital retailer’s grocery delivery service, and it’s got major competition from Instacart, who holds the largest market share. How do the two compare? Let’s take a look.
How Is Instacart Different From Amazon Fresh In 2024?
Instacart and Amazon Fresh are two completely different entities that compete in the grocery delivery sphere. Amazon Fresh is free to Prime members, while Instacart customers can get free delivery with the Instacart Express subscription service. Currently, Amazon Fresh is quite limited in coverage, while Instacart is in all 50 states, in over 5,500 cities.
It’s worth it to go into further detail about whether Amazon Fresh is cheaper than Amazon, where Amazon Fresh is available, which service is faster, and much, much more. Which service is right for you? Keep reading and find out!
How Is Amazon Fresh Like Instacart?
Amazon Fresh and Instacart share the same broad target market: Busy people with disposable income, who would rather have someone else do their grocery shopping, freeing up their time.
And the two operate in some surface-value similar ways, like bringing orders directly to your front door, with same-day delivery windows (within hours even).
They both also markup prices on certain goods, though with Amazon Fresh it’s more about a certain department (meat, for example), and with Instacart it’s certain retailers.
Plus, both Amazon Fresh and Instacart have subscriptions where users can get free unlimited delivery (and you likely already have Amazon’s).
What’s The Difference Between Amazon Fresh And Instacart?
While the two share some similarities in delivery models, Amazon Fresh and Instacart are quite different, not the same thing at all.
For starters, Amazon Fresh is a subsidiary of tech-giant Amazon, while Instacart is its own entity, not tied to another online marketplace.
Amazon Fresh is also more limited in scope because it’s Amazon’s digital marketplace for their Whole Foods acquisition.
So if you love Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh could be an awesome way to get your groceries delivered for free with your Prime account.
Meanwhile, Instacart is comprised of hundreds of different retailers across North America, including huge names like Costco, Walmart, CVS, Aldi, and Kroger, just to name a few.
This brings me to another major difference: Instacart shoppers head to local stores near their customers to shop the orders.
But Amazon Fresh gathers orders from a warehouse before being delivered.
Finally, one last difference is location.
Amazon Fresh’s service is confined to just a few cities: NYC, Boston, Stamford, Philadelphia, Boston, Northern Virginia, and parts of New Jersey on the eastern seaboard.
Then they also operate in parts of California, plus Dallas, Chicago, and Seattle, further west.
Finally, if you live in London, England, you can also get your Amazon Fresh delivered to your door.
If you don’t live in that service area, you’re unfortunately out of luck – you’ll have to find some other delivery service.
That service will probably be Instacart, since they cover a lot more ground: all 50 states, thousands of cities, and even most of Canada.
It’s not surprising that Instacart has the market on grocery delivery, when they have been able to expand much further and much wider than Amazon Fresh.
Is Amazon Fresh Cheaper Than Instacart?
Amazon Fresh and Instacart are competitively priced, but the former does overprice the latter in some areas.
For example, Amazon Fresh is free with a Prime membership, but a Prime membership now costs $139 for the year or $14.99 per month.
If you’re looking for a membership to get you unlimited free delivery, Instacart’s Express is cheaper, at $99 per year or just $10 per month.
However, many people already have Prime, whereas Instacart can be used without an Express membership – but you’ll have to pay the $3.99 to $9.99 delivery fee.
And don’t forget about the most important part when it comes to Instacart: giving your deserving shopper a good tip!
When it comes to how the groceries are priced, let’s examine Amazon Fresh’s Whole Foods selection, compared to Instacart’s Aldi, which is one of the retailers with a broader audience.
- Large organic Hass avocado: Amazon Fresh – $2.06 each; Aldi IC: $1.83 each
- Organic eggs: Amazon Fresh – $3.99/doz.; Aldi IC – $3.19/doz.
- Ground pork: Amazon Fresh – $5.54/lbs.; Aldi IC – $4.29/lb.
- AP flour: Amazon Fresh – $1.99/2 lbs.; Aldi IC – $1.65/5 lbs.
As you can see from just these four examples, Amazon Fresh is priced a bit higher overall for similar products.
However, GigsDoneRight.com purports that Amazon Fresh is 10 to 30 percent cheaper than Instacart prices on snack food items.
Is Instacart Owned By Amazon?
Instacart and Amazon share no affiliation, unless you count the fact that Instacart’s founder, Apoorva Mehta, was worked at Amazon as an engineer.
Instacart is under the ownership of its investors and shareholders, while Amazon Fresh falls under its parent company, Amazon, also under ownership of its shareholders.
Of course, the most famous of them all is Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO, who is now the second-richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of $177 billion.
Instacart is no slouch in that arena either, though, as its founder Mehta became a billionaire in 2020 at the ripe old age of 33.
Where Can You Get Amazon Fresh?
Amazon Fresh is much more limited in scope than Instacart, with delivery available in 11 cities along the eastern seaboard, parts of California and New Jersey and even London, England.
Instacart is located in every state in the U.S., as well as most of Canada (Canada’s populous areas, anyway), with a presence in over 5,500 cities.
Who Has Better Selection, Amazon Fresh Or Instacart?
High marks for selection has to go to Instacart, called (ironically enough) “Amazon for groceries.”
Amazon Fresh, remember, is limited to Whole Foods’ available stock.
Meanwhile, Instacart partners with over 700 different chains, everything from dollar stores, to department stores to local markets.
Amazon Fresh is a good option for existing Prime members who live in the program’s service area and who don’t feel limited by Whole Foods’ selection.
Instacart, on the other hand, is more accessible to most North Americans, tends to be cheaper on individual items and has a much wider selection overall.